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Professor emeritus George Stegeman receives an honorary degree

INRS pays tribute to one of the world’s leading optics experts

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May 29, 2013 // by Gisèle Bolduc

Left to right : Mr. Daniel Coderre, director general; professor emeritus George Stegeman and  Mrs. Sylvie Beauchamp, president of The Université du Québec.

INRS University awarded an honorary doctorate to professor emeritus George Stegeman of the University of Central Florida at its convocation, which took place in Montreal on May 25, 2013. In doing so, INRS acknowledged professor Stegeman’s remarkable contribution to optics and photonics research and education in Canada and around the world.


“Curiosity is essential to being a good scientist. It’s the starting point on the road to innovation and technology. When I was very young, I created my own models with a Meccano building set. My successes and failures taught me perseverance, a valuable life lesson for forging a career in research,” said Professor Stegeman during his speech encouraging graduates to pursue their careers in Canada.


Professor George Stegeman received a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Toronto, where he began his university career before joining the University of Arizona, then the University of Central Florida as the first recipient of the Cobb Family Chair in Optical Sciences and Engineering from 1990 to 2008. Since then, he has been professor emeritus at the University of Central Florida College of Optics and Photonics. He also held a teaching and research chair at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals College of Engineering in Saudi Arabia from 2010 to 2013.


Recognized as a world leader in nonlinear optics, Professor Stegeman is considered a pioneer in this research field, which developed with the appearance of lasers. Through his numerous scientific contributions in internationally renowned journals (over 700), he has helped bring credibility to this science. His innovative research, which paved the way for optical telecommunications system applications, has also earned him many accolades, including the R.W. Wood Prize from the Optical Society of America.


Throughout his career, Professor Stegeman has shown a very acute sense of responsibility with regard to science. He has been highly involved in educating new generations of scientists and has been a mentor to a number of physicists and young researchers wishing to follow in his footsteps and explore the possibilities of nonlinear optics. Professor Roberto Morandotti of the INRS Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre is a fine example. 



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