Professor Du's interdisciplinary fiber-optic sensing research advances applications in environmental monitoring, medical diagnosis and energy production

Dr. Henry DuDr. Henry Du, Professor and Director of the Chemical Engineering & Materials Science department at Stevens Institute of Technology is a leading expert in nanotechnology-enabled fiber-optic sensing, particularly using photonic crystal fiber (PCF) as the sensing platform.

In recognition of the important contributions of his work, SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has elected Dr. Du as a fellow of the society.

The fellowship acknowledges Dr. Du’s significant scientific and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics, and imaging. It honors his service to the general optics community and SPIE, which itself serves more than 225,600 constituents from approximately 150 countries.

“The election of Dr. Du as a fellow attests to his standing in the optics and photonics community and the consistent excellence of his work,” says Dr. Michael Bruno, Dean of the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science. “His interdisciplinary research continues to be highly influential in its approach as well as its outcomes, and we look forward to its ever-growing impact in the years to come.”

Dr. Du is especially known for his innovative approaches in applying molecular- and nano-scale surface functionalization of the axially aligned fiber cladding air channels in PCF to achieve surface-enhanced Raman scattering for robust chemical sensing and detection, as well as in integrating theoretical simulation with experimental inscription of long-period gratings in PCF as a sensitive index transduction platform for the monitoring of chem/bio binding events. He has received sustained funding from the US National Science Foundation and has published extensively in related research field.

Photonic Crystal Fiber
    Example of Photonic Crystal Fiber

His interdisciplinary approach offers students critical training opportunities cutting across materials science, optics, surface chemistry, and biomedical engineering. Dr. Du and his students regularly collaborate with faculty colleagues in those related disciplines. He says, “The problems we are facing are so complex that no single discipline sufficiently encapsulates them. That’s where collaboration between disciplines becomes so important.”

“I am pleased that the work at Stevens in a truly exciting fiber-optic research frontier is being recognized by the broader community. Above all, I must recognize the instrumental contributions of my former and current students, post-doctorate researchers, and colleagues, especially Dr. Svetlana Sukhishvili, who have collaborated with me over the years” says Dr. Du. “Their work and unique areas of expertise have truly helped to guide me throughout my career.”

Dr. Du is an active contributor in the optics and photonics community as a member of the American Ceramic Society, the Materials Research Society, the AAAS, and the University Materials Council and as a peer-reviewer for government funding agencies, private foundations, and professional journals. He is an associate editor of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society. He has been particularly involved with SPIE, organizing and chairing numerous conferences since 2005. He has been awarded three U.S. patents, and he has previously been recognized with the Dean’s Research Award, School of Engineering, Stevens (2004), the Jess Davis Memorial Award for Faculty Research Excellence, Stevens (2001, 2011), and the National Science Foundation Research Initiation Award (1991).

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