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2013 Arthur L. Schawlow Award Winner - Ursula Keller
Date:9/27/2013

degree from ETH Zurich in 1984 and her doctorate in applied physics from Stanford University in 1989. She was a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories in NJ from 1989 to 1993. She was a Visiting Miller Professor at UC Berkeley in 2006 and a visiting professor at the Lund Institute of Technologies in 2001.

Keller’s passion for lasers, their value and their future, is a key reason LIA is honoring her with the Schawlow Award.

“Lasers will move deeper and deeper into every computer platform, with optical clocks, interconnects and cables,” she asserts. “As has been pointed out many times before, photons are ideal for communication and electrons for switching. So there will be closer and stronger integration of both elements in future technology. Laser micromachining will become more important, and the progress in high average power ultrafast lasers will allow for many new material processing capabilities. Lasers are an ideal technology platform that enable truly multi-disciplinary research and applications ranging from engineering to life sciences. What other technology can offer so much variety?”

She is also excited to serve as a role model for young women who might wish to join the laser industry.

“Laser science and technology is traditionally a very male-dominated field, probably because it comes from electrical engineering and physics,” she explains. “I hope we can attract more women into these areas in the near future because we cannot afford to keep losing half of our young talent pool. I always loved lasers, and I very much have enjoyed building and improving them for many years. As a community, we need to make a stronger effort to create a working environment where women feel welcome, can integrate, become motivated and can be empowered.”

LIA, the trusted and respected advocate of cutting-edge applications of laser technology since 1968, first presented the award in 1982 to Schawlow, who won the Nobel Pri
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