Canadian Association of Physicists ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE DES


2002 CAP-INO Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Applied Photonics

will be awarded to


"Receiving the 2002 CAP-INO Award is of particular significance to me since it acknowledges innovation in photonics, a field of increasing importance in which I have worked for many years."

Dr. Allan CarswellThe Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2002 CAP Medal-INO of Outstanding Achievement in Applied Photonics is being awarded to Dr. Allan Carswell of York University for several major accomplishments during his scientific career, mainly his research of LIDAR for remote sensing and his company Optech.

Allan Carswell received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Toronto. This was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Amsterdam. In 1961, Dr. Carswell returned to Canada to join the RCA Laboratories in Montreal where he studied the interaction of electromagnetic waves with plasmas. At RCA he led the development of the first commercial HeNe laser and high-power CO 2 laser in Canada. In 1968, Dr. Carswell joined the Physics Department at York University. His research pioneered using laser radar or LIDAR for remote sensing in atmospheric and underwater environments. His notable accomplishments include the construction of a LIDAR at Eureka in the Northwest Territories to monitor the arctic ozone hole. He is presently a co-investigator of a Canadian Space Agency/NASA program aimed at putting a LIDAR on Mars.

In 1974, Dr. Carswell founded Optech, to enable an increased emphasis on the more practical applications of laser systems. Optech has grown to become a world leader in the provision of laser ranging systems for environmental diagnostics, surveying, 3-D imaging, and process control applications. It now has 175 employees and does about 90% of its business internationally. Last year, Optech's unique LIDAR mapping abilities were called on to assist emergency personnel at both the World Trade Center and Pentagon sites.

During his copious spare time, Dr. Carswell has taken on numerous administrative tasks that include being a founding member of the Ontario Center of Excellence in Space Science, Vice President of the Academy of Science of the Royal Society and, most significantly, President of the CAP during 1985. Dr. Carswell is a unique example of an individual who has combined exceptional entrepreneurial ability with world class university research. He is a most appropriate recipient of the CAP-INO Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Applied Photonics.

The CAP Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Industrial and Applied Physics (formerly the Prize for Innovative Applied Physics of the CAP's Division of Industrial and Applied Physics) was established in 1991 and has been awarded biennially since. Dr. Carswell will receive the 2002 Medal during the CAP's awards banquet to be held at the Quebec Convention Centre on June 4th, 2002.

The Canadian Association of Physicists, founded in 1945, is a professional association representing over 1600 individual physicists and physics students in Canada, the U.S. and overseas, as well as a number of Corporate and Departmental Members. In addition to its learned activities, the CAP also undertakes a number of activities intended to encourage students to pursue a career in physics.

For more information, please contact:

Canadian Association of Physicists
Tel: (613) 562-5614
Fax: (613) 562-5615