Australian and New Zealand
Optical Society    

The John Love Award recognises innovations and technical advances in the field of optics and photonics developed in Australia and/or New Zealand. The award is named for the late distinguished optical physicist Professor John Love, a life member of ANZOS and co-author of the landmark textbook Optical Waveguide Theory. The award seeks to recognise substantial achievement in the translation of optical research and/or innovation towards industrial applications and commercialisation by an individual or small team. The prize was known as the Technical Optics Award from 1995 to 2016. It was renamed the John Love Award in 2017. The winner will receive a prize consisting of a trophy, one year's free membership of ANZOS, and an invitation to attend the next ANZOS conference to discuss their work.  

The Award is judged by a committee appointed by the ANZOS Council. The primary focus of the committee in assessing applications will be on the evidence of achievement other than traditional academic measures of papers and citations, though these may be included for background context. Examples of suitable evidence might include patents or technology licensing, technical reports, prototype development, novel commercial products, or innovative solutions to challenging technical problems in research translation or commercialisation. The latter might include refinement of a complex fabrication or laboratory analysis process. The work for which the award is made must have been carried out principally in Australia and/or New Zealand. The committee reserves the right to recommend no award where none of the applications presents sufficient evidence of this type.

Applications from non-academic technical staff and workers in optics and photonics outside universities are strongly encouraged. Applications are welcomed from individuals or teams of up to six people working on a common project.

Applications from female candidates and members of other historically under-represented groups in STEM are highly encouraged.

Selection criteria

  1. Excellence in the advancement of a technical capability and/or innovation in optics or photonics
  2. Demonstrated approach to applying the innovation to end-user problems outside academia or research settings

  3. Demonstrated and/or potential end-user impact of the development as expressed by evidence other than traditional scientific publications
  4. Evidence that the work involved was performed principally in Australia and/or New Zealand.

Applications that emphasise traditional academic goals and measures are unlikely to be successful.

Submission components

  1. A two page narrative document describing:
    • the application problem being targeted
    • the specific technical innovation or development
    • the existing or planned approach for translating the innovation into settings beyond academia, including evidence of actual or potential end user impact
    • the strategy for further innovation in this area over the next 3-5 years
  2. Optional addendum of up to 2 pages of non-narrative supporting material (eg product images, press clippings, technical report excerpts, examples of use, evidence of end-user engagement, information on spin-off companies, etc)
  3. Applicant summary:
    • For individuals: A one-page resume or curriculum vitae
    • For teams: A one-page description of the team composition, affiliations, and expertise of each member


  • Applications should be sent to the ANZOS email. You can address your submission to the ANZOS Secretary.
  • For the 2024 award, all nomination materials must reach the ANZOS Secretary by 07 June 2024.

Previous winners of the Prize:

  • 2023: The Rubidium Clock Team - University of Adelaide
  • 2022: Prof. Robert McLaughlin - University of Adelaide
  • 2021: Redback Systems
  • 2020: Prof. Warwick Bowen - University of Queensland
  • 2019: Dr Sergio Leon-Saval - University of Sydney
  • 2018: Prof. Robert Scholten - University of Melbourne and MOGLabs
  • 2016: Dr Nicolas Riesen - Modular Photonics, Macquarie University & University of Adelaide
  • 2010: Dr Katie Green - CSIRO
  • 2004: Dr Yabai He - Macquarie University
  • 2000: Alex Boiko
  • 1997: Chris Freund - CSIRO Telecommunications and Industrial Physics.
  • 1995: Ron Bulla - CSIRO Applied Physics

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