The medal, established in 1940 in honor of the society’s founding treasurer, “recognizes noteworthy contributions made to optics at an early career stage,” according to the 101-year-old professional association. In announcing the award, the Optical Society cited Englund’s “pioneering contributions to scalable solid-state quantum memories in nitrogen-vacancy diamond, high-dimensional quantum key distribution, and photonic integrated circuits for quantum communication and computation.”
Englund heads the Quantum Photonics Group and is a PI in MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) and the Microsystems Technology Laboratory (MTL). His research focuses on quantum technologies based on semiconductor and optical systems.
Before coming to MIT in 2013, Englund was an assistant professor of Electrical Engineering and of Applied Physics at Columbia University and a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University. He received a BS in physics from Caltech, followed by an MS in electrical engineering in and PhD in applied physics, both from Stanford University.
“In the eight years since he finished his PhD, Dirk has built a blockbuster research group that is pouring out top-flight research results across a broad spectrum of topics in photonics and quantum information science,” said Englund’s faculty colleague Jeffrey Shapiro, Julius A. Stratton Professor in EECS. “In doing so, he has also demonstrated leadership of multidisciplinary research teams that is extraordinary for someone so early in their faculty career.”