The achievements of an international team developing standards for optics and photonics — which cover such products as contact lenses and telescopes — were recognized yesterday through the presentation of the Lawrence D. Eicher Leadership Award at the 32nd ISO General Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa.
Every year, the award acknowledges superior performance by one of ISO's standards development groups. The 2009 award has gone to ISO technical committee ISOITC 172, Optics and photonics.
ISOITC 172 Secretary, Ms. Elisabeth Leitner, receives the Lawrence D. Eicher Award on behalf of the technical committee from ISO President, Dr. Alan Morrison.
The work of ISOITC 172 covers a very broad field, including many products to which we are exposed daily, from reading glasses and contact lenses through to microscopes, telescopes and endoscopes.
The committee's work also covers such diverse fields as laser scanners, surveying equipment, ophthalmic goods, and many of the components that make these systems possible.
Presenting the award, ISO President Alan Morrison said: "At a time when the World Health Organization observes that sight impairment is increasing around the world, therefore necessitating the organization of research for new treatments, we all realize the importance of the work of ISOITC 172."
The effort and dedication of the committee are exemplified by the more than 280 International Standards published in this highly complex field.
Since its establishment, the committee has had to face the challenges posed by a rapidly developing market area characterized by evolving product techniques and technology. Despite this, the committee has succeeded in adapting flexibly to changing requirements and to positioning itself as an important player and technology "enabler" in its field. With this in mind, ISO/TC 172's business plan is now looking at photonics as a key for exploiting the potential of nanotechnology.
The ISO President added: In this context, it is commendable that the committee and its leadership have produced the standards needed by the industry, when they are needed, and that the committee continues to provide the leadership and support that the industry requires."
The Secretary of ISO/TC 172, Ms. Elisabeth Leitner, was presented with the award on behalf of the committee.