Sanjay Krishna honored with 2020 SPIE technology achievement award

mhuson Faculty Awards, General, Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability

Story updated with info from the 2020 SPIE Society Awards Virtual Ceremony.


Sanjay Krishna, George R. Smith Chair in Engineering and professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was recognized in November with the 2020 SPIE Aden and Marjorie Meinel Technology Achievement Award for his pioneering work and impact in the infrared field.


The award recognizes technical accomplishments in the fields of optics, electro-optics, photonic engineering and imaging. SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has worked to advance light-based technologies since 1955.


“Looking at the list of past award winners, I am very humbled and honored to have been chosen for this prestigious award,” Krishna said. “The award raises the level of awareness of the potential impact that this work is having on our field. The dual color superlattices could help us obtain absolute temperature measurements which would be helpful for several commercial applications in fields like health and medicine, manufacturing metrology, etc.”


Krishna received the award in November for his presentation of the first demonstration of single-color and dual-color nBn superlattice detectors and focal plane arrays. His work in the field of infrared technologies has advanced imaging capabilities by allowing increased sensitivity and operating temperatures, while lowering costs. This work has led to applications among manufacturers in both industry and defense.


In August, the 2020 SPIE Society Awards were presented via virtual ceremony. In a nod to his own mentors who helped him along the way, Krishna presented a challenge to students in his acceptance speech.


Write down four questions on a piece of paper.

1. What am I good at?

2. What do I really love to do?

3. What can I be paid for?

4. What does the world need?

Watch this brief video to find out what you will learn from your answers:


“There are three important contributions that a good university research group can make,” said Michael T. Eismann, editor-in-chief of SPIE’s Optical Engineering journal and chief scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Sensors Directorate. “The first is advancing the frontiers of science using simple concepts based on fundamental understanding of the physics. The second is the advancement of this science to make a real technological impact that could be useful for real-life application. And the third is the legacy of high-quality students and researchers that one has trained in their research group. Professor Krishna has made a significant impact in all these areas.”


Krishna is an SPIE Fellow and has previously received the society’s Early Career Achievement Award for his technological contributions to infrared detector development.


Krishna joined The Ohio State University though the Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability Discovery Theme in 2017. He is on the leadership team of the newly established IIT Bombay-Ohio State Frontier Science and Engineering Research Center, a shared research center that fosters cutting-edge collaborative projects related to advanced technologies.


Krishna co-founded SK Infrared, LLC., a Columbus-based startup that engineers innovative infrared detection devices capable of detecting everything from military threats to early-stage skin cancer.


Story by Mike Huson, IMR Public Relations Coordinator


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