The award was established in 2000 by Optical Research Associates (ORA), which is now the Optical Solutions Group at Synopsys. It was named in honor of ORA's former president and CEO Robert S. Hilbert. The annual competition is open to students in North America working toward a bachelor's, master's, or Ph.D. degree who utilize Synopsys' CODE V or LightTools software to perform optical design and engineering research. Awards are granted to students who have submitted papers that demonstrate optical design excellence.
Synopsys said Anthony Visconti of the University of Rochester was recognized for his work on infrared optical imaging using CODE V in his paper titled, "Optical Passive Athermalization Using Schott Chalcogenide Glasses." Applications of Visconti's project include thermal imaging for night vision systems, as well as remote sensing for aerial photography and satellite data collection, Synopsys said.
Brett Sternfield, also of the University of Rochester, was recognized for his work on a machine vision imaging system using CODE V in his paper titled, "190 Degree FFOV Fisheye for Autonomous Robots," Synopsys said. Sternfield presents a method to improve a robot's ability to navigate a new environment and capture images, which can be useful for a wide range of tasks, including search and rescue missions, intelligence gathering and even fast food delivery, according to the company.
Josh Walters of the University of Alabama-Huntsville was recognized for his project using CODE V titled, "Non-Sequential Modeling of Multi-Aperture Lenslet Array Spectropolarimetic Imager," Synopsys said. The goal of Walters' design is to reduce crosstalk in an imaging system that uses an array of lenslets, so that the resulting image of each channel is clearly distinguished. This work will aid those researching the benefits of non-traditional imaging systems, similar to the compound eye found in insects, the company said.
"We believe it is important to encourage the next generation of optical engineers by recognizing and showcasing their talents in our annual student design competition," said George Bayz, vice president and general manager of the Optical Solutions Group at Synopsy, in a statement. "The entries we received reflect strong design concepts that were well executed and presented and show promise for optical systems across a broad range of applications."
The three projects will be on display at SPIE Optics + Photonics this week in San Diego.