News | November 27, 2012

The Optical Society And The Optical Society Of Korea Name New Award In Honor Of South Korea's Optics Trailblazer

Sang Soo Lee Award will recognize individuals who have established or fostered the local optics and photonics community

The Optical Society (OSA) and The Optical Society of Korea (OSK) announced today the establishment of a new award in honor of Sang Soo Lee for his pioneering role as the “Father of Optics” in South Korea. The award is jointly sponsored by OSK and OSA and will be presented biennially starting in 2014.

The Sang Soo Lee Award will recognize those who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in founding or growing the optics and photonics community at a local or regional level. The award will honor eminent individuals who played a key role in a specific region, through research and/or education in optics or photonics, by introducing a new field of study within optics or photonics, or initiating an optics and photonics industry. 

“OSA is proud to partner with the Optical Society of Korea on this unique award,” said OSA President Tony Heinz. “The Lee award allows us to recognize individuals anywhere in the world who have made major contributions to optics and photonics by advancing our field at the local level.”

Lee, who passed away in 2010, laid the foundation for optical science and engineering in South Korea.  With a career spanning more than four decades, Lee was active as an educator, researcher and author. He played a central role in establishing OSK in 1989 and served as its first president.  He also served as the first president of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), the country’s first graduate school specializing in science and engineering research and education.

“Prof. Lee is well-known for his leading role in bringing optics and photonics to Korea,” said OSK President Tae-Hoon Yoon. “His extraordinary efforts deserve to be commemorated through this award.  We look forward to honoring a diverse range of professionals around the world for many years to come.”

Nominations for the award will be solicited from the global optics and photonics community starting in 2013. The award is endowed by OSK, the OSA Foundation and the family of Sang Soo Lee. The OSA Foundation is currently raising funds to permanently endow this award. For more information on how to donate, visit the OSA Foundation website.

About OSA
Uniting more than 180,000 professionals from 175 countries, the Optical Society (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit

Source: The Optical Society