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Carmen Menoni shines bright in the world of lasers and photonics – a field that pushes the frontiers of light to enable technologies of the future, from lasers for advanced medical devices to fiber optics for global communications.

The University Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Colorado State University has been selected to serve as president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Photonics Society in 2020.

“This well-deserved honor underscores Carmen’s impact as a leader, role model and mentor in engineering and science,” said ECE Department Head Tony Maciejewski. “She has helped shape the field of lasers and photonics. We are proud she is representing our department in this prominent role.”

Empowering others
Menoni plans to launch new initiatives aimed at bolstering membership, publications and conferences, with special emphasis on increasing diversity and enhancing professional development programs. Her goal is to meet with society members around the world to listen and share ideas to better understand how to serve the engineering community.

“I am truly honored to lead this society … I like to say that we are the people who bring light to IEEE,” said Menoni, who holds courtesy appointments in the Department of Chemistry and School of Biomedical Engineering.

Energized by the opportunity to influence students and early career professionals through this leadership position, Menoni added, “I am excited to empower others to make a difference.”

Passion for the profession
Menoni’s laser-like focus has propelled her 30-year career, with successes ranging from inventing an “R&D 100” award-winning microscope to launching a startup company to commercialize EUV sources and technologies. She is also the driving force behind CSU’s participation in the Nobel-winning international hunt for gravitational waves, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.

Menoni’s appointment to president not only recognizes her technical contributions, but also her extraordinary service to the profession. “My volunteer work is one of the most rewarding aspects of my career,” said Menoni.

As an active member of numerous organizing committees for international conferences, Menoni is known for fostering collaboration to advance the society’s mission. One of her greatest achievements as a volunteer was spearheading the launch of the Photonics Journal, IEEE’s first online, open access publication. In addition to improving the society’s bottom line while serving as the journal’s founding editor-in-chief, her work ushered in the transition from print to online publishing throughout the IEEE community.

Menoni is a fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers, American Physical Society, Optical Society of America, American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International Society for Optics and Photonics, or SPIE. She also received the IEEE Distinguished Lecture Award from the Photonics Society in 2014. At the end of her two-year term as president, Menoni will serve as past president in 2022.