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Edmund Optics awards products worth $85,000 to support science research and education

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Edmund Optics (EO) has announced the winners of its 2013 Higher Education Global Grant Program. More than $85,000 USD in EO products will be awarded to the first-, second-, and third-place winners in the Americas, Asia, and Europe, in support of their research and education activities.

In Europe, the first place recipient of €7,000 in EO products was the University of Cambridge, UK submitted by Craig Mackay. Mackay won the award for work into building a new kind of instrument intended for the largest ground-based optical telescopes. These will deliver much higher angular resolution than any space-based images by combining a 5-10 metre class telescope with both Lucky Imaging and adaptive optics systems.

First place in the Americas ($10,000 in EO products) went to University of Illinois at Chicago, submitted by Simon Alford, for developing a novel approach to protein-protein interactions using a combination of total internal reflection microscopy and fluorescence anisotropy.

While in Asia, the winner of $10,000 USD in EO products was YongKeun Park from KAIST (South Korea) for the development of holography-based imaging techniques designed to study human disease including the investigation of malaria, cancer, and other neuro-diseases.

Second place prizes went to Sarah Isabelle Ksouri from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany for developing new assembling techniques required to fulfil specifications in increasingly complex, and smaller, microsystems; Jennifer Yang at the Pennsylvania State University for an innovative laser ablation tomography (LAT) and serial imaging system for a plant phenotyping project; and Li Heng from Shenzhen University, China for work on super-resolution fluorescence imaging.

The award is given in recognition of outstanding undergraduate and graduate optics programmes in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at non-profit colleges and universities worldwide.

‘The originality, ingenuity, and vision put forth in so many of these projects is very impressive,’ said Kirsten Bjork-Jones, director of global marketing communications at EO. ‘Edmund Optics remains a very proud supporter and advocate for these resourceful and talented university researchers dedicated to furthering the science of optical innovation.’

After evaluating over 800 applications, the EO Grant Team selected 45 finalists from 21 countries who submitted applications ranging from developing handheld optical coherence tomography (OCT) probes for non-invasive diagnostics in primary healthcare to real-time optical detectors for airborne asbestos detection.

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