Logo: University of Southern California

Viterbi Senior Associate Dean Wins Weighty Honor for Work on Light

Photonics specialist is named a 2008 fellow of the Optical Society of America
Eric Mankin
October 29, 2007 — John O'Brien, a professor in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering who is also Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, has been elected a Fellow of the Optical Society of America for his contributions to the understanding and development of photonic crystal devices and technology.

Fellowship in the OSA is limited to 10 percent of the membership of the  91-year old organization.  O'Brien was also designated a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Lasers & Electro-Optics Society this year.

He joined USC in 1997 as assistant professor. In 1999 he received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and in 2000 he was awarded an NSF Career Award. O'Brien rose rapidly through the ranks and was promoted to professor of electrical engineering in 2006.

His research interests are in nanophotonics and photonic crystal devices. He is a senior member of IEEE and currently serves as Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology.

O'Brien received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1991, from Iowa State University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in applied physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1993 and 1996, respectively.

Founded in 1916, the Optical Society of America brings together optics and photonics scientists, engineers, educators, technicians and business leaders. OSA is dedicated to providing its members and the scientific community with educational resources that support technical and professional development. OSA publications, events and services help to advance the science of light by addressing the ongoing need for shared knowledge and innovation. The society's commitment to excellence and long-term learning is the driving force behind all its initiatives.

P. Daniel Dapkus W. M. Keck Professor of Engineering and Electrophysics Chair, Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, reported O'Brien's election.