Peter Werle Award

Sponsored by

Aerodyne Inc, LI-COR Biosensors, and Thermo Fisher


The 2016 Peter Werle Early Career Scientist Award has been presented to 

Aleksandra Foltynowicz

during the Conference dinner on September 14 at the Hotel Palace de Menthon

Aleksandra Foltynowicz, 2016 recipient of the Peter Werle Award 


Motivation for the attribution of the 2016 Peter Werle Early Career Scientist Award

The Peter Werle Award is meant to recognize outstanding early career scientists who best exemplify Peter Werle’s scientific attributes, such as: innovation, intellectual honesty, extreme attention to detail, inquisitiveness, strong mathematical and engineering backgrounds, a proven track record of success, and achieving such success by questioning existing thinking and/or technologies.

The 2016 Peter Werle Early Career Scientist Award is being awarded to Dr. Aleksandra Foltynowicz from Umeå University in Sweden, whose excellent research record strongly resonates with all the criteria considered in this award.

Dr. Foltynowicz received her MSc degree from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań in 2005, and a PhD degree from Umeå University in 2009, both in physics. Her PhD thesis on “Fiber-laser-based noise-immune cavity-enhanced optical heterodyne molecular spectrometry” was conducted in the group led by Prof. Ove Axner. In the years 2010-2012 she conducted post-doctoral research on cavity-enhanced frequency comb spectroscopy in the group of Prof. Jun Ye at JILA, University of Colorado at Boulder. Since 2012 she is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Umeå University, where she is heading the Optical Frequency Comb Spectroscopy Group.

The research accomplishments and interests of Dr. Foltynowicz have been largely focused on ultra-high precision molecular spectroscopy with a recent focus on ultra-broadband laser spectroscopy of multiple molecular species. Early in her career she developed a sensitive and robust fiber-laser-based noise-immune cavity-enhanced optical heterodyne molecular spectroscopy (NICE-OHMS) system, and revised models for Doppler- and sub-Doppler molecular absorption and dispersion in saturated conditions. More recently Dr. Foltynowicz has tackled important scientific problems and developments of novel detection techniques involving optical frequency comb (OFC) sources in the near- and mid-infrared. These research directions allowed her to expand the capabilities of these novel sources and both push the limits of broadband spectroscopic detection as well as open new avenues for applications that were not possible before. One outstanding example is her work on cavity-enhanced OFC spectroscopy in flames, the first demonstration of in-situ OFC spectroscopy in a challenging combustion environment. Building upon her previous very successful work on NICE-OHMS and OFCs, she demonstrated a broadband, highly sensitive, and high-resolution spectroscopic technique, NICE-OFCS, that allows fast acquisition of the entire spectral bands with the detection sensitivity directly scalable with the cavity finesse. She also developed a method that overcomes the nominal resolution limit of Fourier transform spectroscopy and allows the measurement of broadband absorption spectra without any influence of the instrumental line shape function and with frequency accuracy given by the OFCs.

Her experimental work is always accompanied by a thorough theoretical analysis with extreme attention to detail. She also has a great sense for potential implementations of her highly advanced systems to important scientific challenges and practical sensing applications. This unique combination of theoretical and experimental finesse makes Dr. Foltynowicz and her research work to stand out in terms of quality, innovation and scientific impact. 


The Selection Committee: 

Francesco D’Amato,INO Florence, Conference Chair

Lukas Emmenegger, EMPA

Alan Fried, University of Colorado

Livio Gianfrani, 2nd University of Naples

Frans Harren, Nijmegen University

Clemens Kaminski, University of Cambridge

Erik Kerstel, University of Grenoble Alps, Conference Chair

Kevin Lehmann, University of Virginia

Joergen Roepcke, INP Greifswald

Frank Tittel, Rice University

Gerard Wysocki, Princeton University, President of the selection committee and 2014 Werle Award recepient

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