Professor Ferguson, from the University of Strathclyde’s Department of Physics, has been honoured for his ‘extraordinary leadership’ creating major international optics and photonics research centres and programmes that support the global optics and photonics community.
Ursula Gibson, OSA president, said: “Allister Ferguson has created tremendous opportunities for the advancement of optics and photonics via the major international cooperative organizations, such as SU2P, that he has established.
“He is an exemplary recipient of the Hopkins Leadership Award.”
Established in 1997 to help strengthen the link between the optics community and the public, the award recognises an individual or group who has had a significant impact on the global optics and photonics community or on society as a whole, stemming from non-research oriented activities.
The award was renamed in honour of Robert E. Hopkins in 2012.
Professor Ferguson has made significant contributions to lasers, laser spectroscopy and nonlinear optics and has worked on a number of applications from basic science to biomedical applications.
At Strathclyde, he founded the Institute of Photonics and has led discussions on the formation of the Technology and Innovation Centre and the establishment of the relationship between Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization, the Fraunhofer and the university.
He said: “The award was a great surprise and was only achieved through the support and commitment of colleagues across the University of Strathclyde and elsewhere for which I am very grateful.”
Professor Ferguson was also the principal investigator on a RCUK Science Bridges project that brought together four Scottish universities – Heriot Watt, Glasgow, St.Andrews and Strathclyde – with the Californian universities of Stanford and Caltech, under the banner of SU2P.
The SU2P collaboration continues, funded by the university and industry partners, and seeks to extract economic impact of the joint research based through knowledge exchange. He chairs the SU2P Executive Committee.
He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Optical Society of America, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Professor Ferguson, who has also worked with National Physical Laboratory (NPL) since the early 1980s and was the recipient of the first NPL Metrology Award in 1983, is Senior Adviser to the Principal Professor Sir Jim McDonald.