The Optical Society of Korea and the Optical Society of America selected Mario Garavaglia, a researcher at the La Plata Optical Research Center in Argentina, as the first winner of the Sang Soo Lee Award.
Dr. Garavaglia has been selected to receive the award in recognition for his research and education in the field of optics and photonics in Argentina.
The Sang Soo Lee Award, co-established by the Optical Society of Korea and the Optical Society of America in 2012, is awarded to an individual who has made a significant impact in the field. Special considerations are made for individuals who have introduced a new field of research, helped establish a new industry, or made a great contribution to education in the field.
The award is sponsored by the late Doctor Sang Soo Lee's family, the Optical Society of Korea, and the Optical Society of America.
The late Doctor Sang Soo Lee (1925~2010) has been widely known as the 'father of optics' in Korea. He was an active educator, researcher, and writer. Dr. Lee served as the first director of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science (KAIS), the predecessor to KAIST, which was Korea's first research oriented university.
Dr. Lee also served as the 6th president of KAIST between 1989 to 1991 and was a KAIST professor of physics for 21 years. He oversaw the completion of 50 Ph.D. and 100 Master's students as well as published 230 research papers.
Philip Bucksbaum, the president of the Optical Society of America, commented,
"Garavaglia has been an example to the spirit of the Sang Soo Lee Award. The award is the recognition for his tireless efforts and commitment to the development of optics and photonics in Argentina through his teaching, research, and publications."
Jeong-Won Woo, the president of the Optical Society of Korea, said,
"The Sang Soo Lee Award is given to researchers who have consistently contributed to the development of the field. Garavaglia is a well respected researcher in Argentina, and we are truly happy with his selection."
Dr. Garavaglia established a spectroscopy, optic, and laser laboratory in Universidad Nacional de La Plata in 1966. He founded the Center for Optical Research in 1977 and served as the chief of the laboratory until 1991.
Dr. Garavaglia published over 250 research papers in the fields of classical optics, modern optics, photoemission spectroscopy, and laser spectroscopy. He has also received the Galileo Galilei Award from the International Commission for Optics in 1999.