His research has led to the development of new and unique optical materials, solid-state optics, surface physics, laser power transmission and generation, and studies of optical phenomena in a wide variety of materials over an extensive range of wavelengths.
“Dr. Sanghera’s efforts have provided new, state-of-the-art optical materials and devices that have solved numerous problems of commercial and military importance while opening up new application areas and lines of scientific inquiry,” said Dr. Craig Hoffman, superintendent, Optical Sciences Division. “His outstanding contributions to the scientific research community, coupled with his development of a broad range of specialty optical materials and devices, significant to the Navy and the Department of Defense, make him a very worthy recipient of the E.O. Hulburt Award.”
Sanghera received his doctorate in materials science from Imperial College, London, before serving as a post-doctoral candidate at UCLA. He joined NRL in 1988 and as head of the Optical Materials and Devices Branch, he is responsible for directing all research and development activities pertaining to infrared (IR) materials; IR fiber optics; high power fiber lasers; transparent ceramics for armor, missile domes and laser windows; ceramic laser gain materials for high energy lasers; fiber-optic based chemical sensors; optically transparent and conducting thin films; and optics for next generation imaging systems.
He has received numerous awards including the 1998 Young Scientist Award for Specialty Glass Fiber Optics from the International Society of Non-Oxide Glasses, the 2009 Sigma Xi Award for Applied Science, several Department of Defense Technology Transfer Awards, three publication and three Edison Patent Awards, and the Federal Laboratories Consortium (FLC) National and Mid-Atlantic Awards for Excellence in Technology Transfer.
In 2011, Sanghera was co-recipient of the Optical Society of America's prestigious David Richardson Medal as well as the Navy's Arthur E. Bisson Prize, and was elected Fellow of the OSA (2012) and the Society of Optical Instrumentation Engineers (2013). He has been awarded 78 patents, transitioned 52 patents to industry, published over 250 papers, edited a book on IR Fiber Optics,” and presented more than 200 technical talks. Moreover, he is on the organizing committee for several conferences and workshops, including NATO panels.
The E.O. Hulburt Science Award was established, December 1955, on the occasion of the retirement of American physicist, Dr. Edward O. Hulburt — appointed the first Director of Research at NRL, Jan. 28, 1949. The establishment of the award expresses, in part, the sincere and high esteem in which Hulburt was held at NRL as well as within the scientific community.