Joe C. Campbell, whose research on photo diodes led to advancements in fiber optic communications technology, was named the receipient of the IEEE Photonics Award, to be presented Feb. 26 by the IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society at OFC/NFOEC 2008. Campbell, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, has worked extensively in the field of high-speed, low-noise avalanch photo diodes (APDs), highly sensitive semiconductor light sensors that convert optical information into electrical signals, usingpulses of light that travel long distances. APDs, which are used in various applications, have become the standard for long-haul, high-bit-rate fiber optic systems. Campbell is widely credited for the emergence of the device and was responsible for advances including the initial design, fabrication and experimental characterization of APDs, demonstrating order-of-magnitude improvements in system performance, elucidating criteria for performance optimization and determining their ultimate performance limits. He is currently involved with a project designed to increase a computer’s ability to transmit data four times faster than today’s technologies, new night-vision technology, and a sensor to detect biological substances such as anthrax. Campbell has been a professor for nearly 20 years, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on lasers and optoelectronic components, and previously worked for AT&T Bell Laboratories and Texas Instruments. An IEEE Fellow, he has received numerous awards for his work and was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2002.