WPI Professor Ram-Mohan Honored With Engineering Excellence Award by Optical Society of America

Faculty Member Also Receives Additional U.S. Air Force Research Funding

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616


WORCESTER, Mass. - December 15, 2003 - Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Professor L. Ramdas Ram-Mohan has been recognized by the Optical Society of America (OSA) with one of its 2003 Engineering Excellence Awards. Ram-Mohan was one of four leaders in the field of optical engineering to receive this honor, which highlights technical achievements in optical engineering and is bestowed upon individuals who have made significant contributions and advancements.

Ram-Mohan, a WPI professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering, was acknowledged for the development of advanced algorithms to optimize design methods for mid-IR quantum well lasers, for advancing the paradigm of wavefunction engineering, and for mentoring students in optoelectronics.

Just after receiving the award at OSA's annual meeting in October, Ram-Mohan received additional research funding of more than $100,000 from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research for a wavefunction engineering research program. The investigation is developing theory and simulation tools for switchable spin-LEDs and optical spin-polarization emitters for optical communication, and providing theoretical guidelines and theoretical support for an experimental effort being conducted at the Air Force Research Laboratory, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. In recognition of his work for the Air Force, Ram-Mohan was awarded earlier this year with the Department of the Air Force Certificate of Achievement from the Air Force Research Laboratory.

"Professor Rom-Mohan's research contributions in optical engineering continue to attract international attention," notes John F. Carney III, WPI provost and vice president for academic affairs. "His technological breakthroughs will lead to enhanced optical communication capabilities across many application areas in the near future."

Ram-Mohan has taught at WPI since 1978. His research interests include inquiries into field theory, many body problems, solid-state physics, and optical properties of quantum semiconductor heterostructures. He is the author of more than 160 peer-reviewed publications in his fields of research. He also has authored the first book on the subject "Finite Element Method and Quantum Mechanics" and the definitive chapter on "Wavefunction Engineering: A New Paradigm in Quantum Nanostructure Modeling" in the "Handbook of Nanostructured Materials and Nanotechnology."

Off campus, Ram-Mohan is a fellow of numerous professional organizations, including the Optical Society of America, and was just elected to this status of membership by the London-based Institute of Physics. He is also the president of Quantum Semiconductor Algorithms, where he has developed software for the successful design of quantum well near-IR, mid-IR, and FIR lasers. Ram-Mohan earned Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from Purdue University, and a B.S. degree in physics with honors from Delhi University in India. He resides in Northborough, Mass.

About the Optical Society of America

The Optical Society of America (OSA) brings together an international network of the industry's preeminent optics and photonics scientists, engineers, educators, technicians and business leaders. Representing more than 15,000 members from approximately 100 different countries, OSA promotes the worldwide generation, application and dissemination of optics and photonics knowledge through its meetings, events and journals. Since its founding in 1916, OSA member benefits, programming, publications, products and services have set the industry's standard of excellence. Additional information on OSA is available on the Society's Web site at www.osa.org.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865, WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education. WPI was the first university to understand that students learn best when they have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to the solution of important problems. Today its students, working in teams at more than 20 project centers around the globe, put their knowledge and skills to work as they complete professional-level work that can have an immediate positive impact on society.

WPI's innovative, globally focused curriculum has been recognized by leaders in industry, government and academia as the model for the technological education of tomorrow. Students emerge from this program as true technological humanists, well rounded, with the confidence, the interpersonal skills and the commitment to innovation they need to make a real difference in their professional and personal lives.

The university awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today, its first-rate research laboratories support master's and Ph.D. programs in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology. Located in the heart of the region's biotechnology and high-technology sectors, WPI has built research programs - including the largest industry/university alliance in North America - that have won it worldwide recognition.