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The Photonics Spotlight

Retirement of Prof. David C. Hanna

Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta

Ref.: announcement of the Optoelectronics Research Centre

Yesterday, there was the valedictory talk and retirement reception of Prof. David C. Hanna at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) in Southampton, UK. Dave Hanna is an important and widely respected person in the laser physics community. He has brought essential contributions to the formation of the ORC within the University of Southampton, where he served as a deputy director for many years. He started and supported a large range of interesting research projects in Southampton, and also served the international photonics community e.g. as a director-at-large of the Optical Society of America. Many rewards reflect his success, including the Max Born Medal of the German Physical Society, the Quantum Electronics Prize of the European Physical Society, and the Charles Hard Townes Award of the Optical Society of America.

I myself had the great pleasure of working with Dave during a bit more than two years in the mid 1990s, when I was a post-doc in the ORC. The many inspiring discussions with him, covering issues in photonics, but sometimes also quite different subjects such as music, left a deep impression. Certainly, he was one of the key factors contributing to a very productive and pleasant time in that institute.

Dave is also one of my favorite counter-examples, when I hear some people claiming that successful careers in research are open only to the tough and ruthless characters, who focus on their personal success and don't care about other people, nor about other aspects of life. Being widely respected for both this success as a researcher and his cultured character, Dave Hanna can certainly serve as a good example for many.

This article is a posting of the Photonics Spotlight, authored by Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta. You may link to this page, because its location is permanent. See also the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology.

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