Medical Imaging Researcher, Optical Equipment Industry Leader Selected for High Honors by SPIE

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Ken Hanson, a medical imaging research scientist at Los Alamos National Lab (LANL), and Brian Lula, president of Physik Instrumente USA, have been selected as this year’s recipients of two top awards from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

The two have been invited along with other honorees to accept their awards at a banquet in San Diego, California, on 9 August during SPIE Optics + Photonics.

Hanson is receiving the 2017 SPIE Directors’ Award in recognition of substantial contributions to SPIE Medical Imaging and advances in medical image quality, restoration, and 3D reconstruction techniques.

Hanson served as SPIE Medical Imaging symposium chair from 2002 to 2004, on the program committee for the Imaging Processing conference from 1984 to 1995, and as the chair of that conference from 1996-2001.

An accomplished photographer, he has provided a rich legacy for the community through chronicling the symposium in that medium for more than 30 years.

Hanson has worked at LANL since 1975, including more than 20 years in the Dynamic Testing Division where he co-developed the Bayes Inference Engine, the principal analysis tool for quantitative interpretation of dynamic radiographs and introduced other innovations such as new approaches to assess the uncertainties in simulation codes for the verification and validation of simulations.

Although officially retired from LANL in 2016, he continues a guest scientist in the geophysics group, working on improving ultrasound breast imaging.

Hanson also shared his expertise by developing LaTeX templates for digital publication of SPIE proceedings and journals and by teaching an SPIE course on how to write for publications in medical imaging.

Eric Pepper, SPIE director of publications on Ken’s contributions: “In addition to substantial contributions to SPIE conferences and publications as a chair, editor, and author, the support Ken provided in developing the LaTeX templates was invaluable in helping SPIE make a successful transition from print publishing to the SPIE Digital Library.”

Hanson has received multiple awards including an Outstanding Achievement Award from SPIE in 2004, the U.S. Department of Energy Award of Excellence in 1986, and the LANL Distinguished Performance Award in 1991.

Both Hanson and Lula are Fellows of SPIE.

Lula, a member of the SPIE Board of Directors and a past Secretary/Treasurer for the Society, is receiving the 2017 SPIE President’s Award in recognition of commitment to SPIE through outstanding service, leadership, guidance, involvement in governance, and public outreach on behalf of the Society.

Lula is president of Physik Instrumente USA, a leading manufacturer of piezoceramic-based micro- and nanopositioning equipment for research and applications in industry, such as in astronomical telescopes, semiconductor fabricating, and high-resolution microscopy. He previously was sales director and general manager at Newport Corp.

As SPIE Secretary/Treasurer from 2007-2014, Lula was responsible for financial oversight during a period of significant growth as well as major shifts in the global economy.

SPIE President Glenn Boreman adds, “The Society owes a debt of gratitude to Brian for his excellent stewardship of SPIE’s resources and for his insightful leadership as a member of the SPIE Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and multiple other SPIE committees since 1998.”

Lula’s lifelong passion for telescope making and astronomical imaging sparked his interest in mechanical engineering. His experience has led to long-standing relationships with astronomy clubs and schools where he encourages young people to pursue education in engineering and science, and emphasizes the many promising career opportunities for optomechanical and electro-optical engineers.

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