In further recognition of his pioneering research in ultrafast laser science and photonics, Robert R. Alfano, the Distinguished Professor of Science and Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY; New York, NY), is the recipient of the Eastern New York Intellectual Property Law Association (ENYIPLA) 2018 Inventor of Year award and SPIE's 2019 Gold Medal.
Alfano's career has been defined by his pioneering work in the application of light and photonics technologies to the study of biological, biomedical, and condensed matter systems. In addition to his discovery of the supercontinuum, his other research achievements include development of new chromium-doped tunable near-infrared lasers, the advance of laser spectroscopy and optical imaging techniques for condensed matter and biomedical optics and photonics, and the study of ultrafast optical pulse propagation and imaging in scattering media.
The Inventor of the Year accolade is for Alfano's patent that defines the application of supercontinuum light for medical and biological applications. He will receive the award, which includes a plaque and New York State Senate Proclamation, in fall 2018.
Alfano will receive the 2019 SPIE Gold Medal in August 2019, which is the highest honor presented annually by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics (Bellingham, WA), in recognition of outstanding engineering or scientific accomplishments in optics, electro-optics, or photographic technologies or applications.
Alfano's other accolades include the Optical Society of America’s Charles Hard Townes Award (2008) and Michael S. Feld Biophotonics honor (2016); the SPIE Britton Chance award for Biomedical Optics (2012); and the American Physical Society's Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science (2013).