Purpose

Robert W. Boyd, a leading scientist in the field of photonics, holds a Canada Excellence Research Chair in Quantum Nonlinear Optics at the University of Ottawa, where he directs a major research center. He is also a professor of physics and a professor of optics at the University of Rochester and holds a visiting professorship in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow. Dr. Boyd’s award-winning research focuses on nonlinear optical interactions and nonlinear optical properties of materials, as well as the application of nonlinear optics, including quantum and nonlinear optical imaging. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he went on to study with Nobel laureate Charles H. Townes at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a Ph.D. in physics in 1977. He then joined the faculty of The Institute of Optics at Rochester. Promoted to a full professor in 1987, he was named the M. Parker Givens Professor of Optics in 2001 and appointed to the faculty of physics the following year. Dr. Boyd accepted his present position at the University of Ottawa in 2010. A fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and of the American Physical Society (APS), he was the recipient in 2009 of the Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics. The prize recognizes his breakthroughs in manipulating light, notably, shooting a pulse of light into an optical fiber that departs before it enters and, within the fiber, travels backward and faster than the speed of light, thus demonstrating an effect predicted by equations describing the progression of waves. In 2010, Dr. Boyd was awarded the Humboldt Prize for Physics, an international award made in honor of a cumulative body of work. His research was selected by Discover as one of the top one hundred research stories in 2006—and one of only six from physics chosen by the science and technology magazine. He is a past chair of the Division of Laser Science of the APS and a former member of the board of directors of the OSA and the John Templeton Foundation. In addition to more than 350 papers published in scientific journals, Dr. Boyd is the editor (with M.G. Raymer and L.M. Narducci) of Optical Instablities (1986), (with Govind P. Agrawal) of Contemporary Nonlinear Optics (1992), and, most recently, (with Svetlana G. Lukishova and Y.R. Shen) of Self-Focusing: Past and Present (2009), a critical review of theoretical and experimental investigations of a non-linear optical process induced by change in the speed of light within materials exposed to intense electromagnetic radiation. He is also the author of Radiometry and the Detection of Optical Radiation (1986) and Nonlinear Optics, a highly-praised volume first published by Academic Press in 1992 and updated in 2008 in a new third edition. Dr. Boyd has been awarded nine U.S. patents.