Teddi C. Laurin Scholarship Established to Promote Industry Leadership

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University of Arizona Student Kaitlyn Williams Named First Recipient

The first recipient of the Teddi C. Laurin Scholarship is Kaitlyn Williams, a recent graduate of the University of Arizona’s Optical Engineering undergraduate program. She will continue her education with a master’s degree in optical engineering, where she’ll focus on lens design with applications in telescopic camera systems.

Kaitlyn Williams
Kaitlyn Williams.

The scholarship is named in honor of Teddi C. Laurin, founder of Laurin Publishing Co.

Williams has a special interest in “optics involved in space satellites — particularly those within the small space market,” she said. During her studies, she will also work as an optical systems engineer in Raytheon’s Small Space Satellite Division in Tucson, Ariz.

During her undergraduate years, Williams was named to the College of Engineering Dean’s List every semester. Involved in the local community, she served as coordinator for the “Laser Fun Day Spring 2016,” one of the largest optics outreach events for school-age children in the country.

Co-funded by Photonics Media and SPIE, the scholarship was created to raise awareness of optics and photonics, and to foster growth and success in the photonics industry by supporting students involved in the field. To be considered, applicants must be in their second year of an optics/photonics program, with preference given to those working on industry-leading photonics research projects.

Formal presentation of the award was on Monday, Aug. 29, by Ryan Laurin, vice president of Photonics Media, a unit of Laurin Publishing Co., at a luncheon at SPIE’s Optics and Photonics Conference in San Diego.

Teddi C. Laurin

Teddi C. Laurin.

“Teddi had a long-standing desire to see the photonics industry expand and gain worldwide recognition,” said Tom Laurin, president and CEO of Laurin Publishing. “The scholarship that bears her name is a fitting tribute to the time and effort she invested in making that happen. We wish our first recipient, Kaitlyn Williams, the best of luck as she pursues her graduate degree in optical engineering.”

Teddi C. Laurin, who passed away in November 2015, entered the worlds of optics and publishing in the early 1960s, working alongside former Eastman Kodak physicist Dr. Clifton M. Tuttle on a one-volume annual optical industry directory. When Dr. Tuttle retired, Teddi took over management of the Optical Industry Directory, expanding it over the years into a four-volume compendium that included the Photonics Handbook and Photonics Dictionary.

In 1967, responding to a need she saw for a trade magazine to serve the optical industry, Teddi established Optical Spectra to publish relevant business and technical news. In 1982, she changed the magazine’s name to Photonics Spectra, declaring in an editorial that “in the coming decades, we will see photons — the elementary particles of light — put to work to do most of the things electrons do now — and do it better and faster.”

Teddi’s devotion to that mission was widely recognized in the industry. In 1991, she received the SPIE President’s Award in recognition of her “distinguished leadership and service in support of the optics industry and optical engineering.” She was instrumental in the development of the Circle of Excellence Awards — given annually by vote of Photonics Spectra’s Board of Editorial Advisors to the 25 most innovative new products of the previous year — the spirit of which is alive in the Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation, presented annually by SPIE and Laurin Publishing Co./Photonics Media.

The Teddi C. Laurin Scholarship will be granted annually in August.

For an application and additional information, visit SPIE’s website:

Published: August 2016
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
Teddi C. LaurinphotonicsKaitlyn WilliamsDr. Clifton M. TuttleSPIERyan LaurinTom LaurinUniversity of ArizonascholarshipEducation Special SectionTeddi Laurin Scholarship

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