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Donna Strickland    

Nobel Prize Winning Optical Physicist & Pioneer in the Field of Pulsed Lasers

Donna Strickland is a Canadian optical physicist and pioneer in the field of pulsed lasers. She is also a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Professor Strickland is one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 for developing chirped pulse amplification with Gérard Mourou, her Ph.D. supervisor at the time. They published this Nobel-winning research in 1985 when Strickland was a Ph.D. student at the University of Rochester in New York state. Together they paved the way toward the most intense laser pulses ever created. The research has several applications today in industry and medicine — including the cutting of a patient’s cornea in laser eye surgery and the machining of small glass parts for use in cell phones.

Strickland was a research associate at the National Research Council Canada, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a member of technical staff at Princeton University. In 1997, she joined the University of Waterloo, where her ultrafast laser group develops high-intensity laser systems for nonlinear optics investigations. She is a recipient of a Sloan Research Fellowship, a Premier’s Research Excellence Award, and a Cottrell Scholar Award. She served as the president of the Optical Society (OSA) in 2013 and is an OSA Fellow.

Strickland earned a Ph.D. in optics from the University of Rochester and a bachelor of engineering from McMaster University.

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