An exciting tribute had been planned for Donna Strickland, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, on May 4 in Boucherville. During the annual convocation ceremony, Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) CEO Luc-Alain Giraldeau awarded an honorary doctorate to the Canadian physicist, a pioneer in the field of lasers and the third woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Photo credit : Université de Waterloo
Donna Strickland developed the chirped pulse amplification technique with French physicist Gérard Mourou in the early 1980s. Their innovation makes it possible to generate ultra-short, high-intensity laser pulses with applications in eye surgery, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, the environment, cellular imaging, and micromechanics, not to mention huge potential in basic research.
Right from the start, Dr. Strickland and Dr. Mourou worked closely with other dedicated scientists, including INRS professors Henri Pépin, Jean-Claude Kieffer
, and Mohamed Chaker
. Their close collaboration led to the development of laser facilities and a research program at the INRS Centre Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications in Varennes.
Professor Strickland has taught at the University of Waterloo since 1997 and has over 90 publications to her name. She has made a vital contribution to laser technology and the advancement of physics.
“Her perseverance, her involvement in various organizations, and her steadfast determination to contribute to society through innovation make her an accomplished scientist, an outstanding collaborator, and a truly remarkable woman,” said Luc-Alain Giraldeau. “Donna Strickland inspires all our graduates and an entire generation of young women and scientists. She is worthy of the highest distinctions.” ♦