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Yang named Fellow of The Optical Society

Lan Yang, the Edwin H. & Florence G. Skinner Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, has been named a Fellow of The Optical Society.
Lan Yang
Yang, a professor in the Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, was recognized for β€œher seminal contribution in nanophotonics and photonic sensing.” She was one of 96 new fellows representing 19 countries.

Samuel Achilefu, the Michel M. Ter-Pogossian Professor of Radiology at the School of Medicine in St. Louis and professor of biomedical engineering in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, also was elected as a fellow to the Optical Society.

Fellows of The Optical Society are elected based on their contributions to the advancement of optics and photonics and are selected based on several factors, including scientific, engineering, and technological contributions; a record of significant publications or patents related to optics; technical or industry leadership in the field as well as service to OSA and the global optics community. No more than 10 percent of the total OSA membership are chosen as Fellows.

Yang's research interests include fabrication, characterization and fundamental understanding of advanced nano/micro photonic devices with outstanding optical properties or novel features for unconventional control of light flow. Her group focuses on the silicon-chip-based, ultra-high-quality micro-resonators and their applications. She and her team have demonstrated the first on-chip micro-resonator-based particle sensors that can achieve not only detection but also size measurement of single nanoparticles one by one. Different materials also are used in her research to achieve advanced micro/nano photonic devices with desired properties, such as nonreciprocal light transmissions in a parity-time-symmetric optical resonator system, an all-optical analog of an electronic diode that allows current flow in one direction.

Recently, Yang has published results of novel research in the loss-gain phenomenon. She and her team were able to provide new schemes and techniques to engineer a physical system by controlling loss. Further, she invented a new technique to control lasing emissions from an on-chip microlaser. In addition, her team demonstrated for the first time the transfer of chaos between two largely detuned optical fields mediated by opto-mechanical effects in a high-quality micro-resonator.

The Optical Society is a professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and entrepreneurs who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light.


The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 88 tenured/tenure-track and 40 additional full-time faculty, 1,200 undergraduate students, 1,200 graduate students and 21,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners β€” across disciplines and across the world β€” to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.