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Awards / Honors

Engineering Professor Sandra Biedron elected SPIE Fellow

January 12, 2012

Sandra Biedron, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Colorado State University, recently was named a 2012 Fellow of SPIE - the international society for optics and photonics.

Biedron, who joined the ECE department last year, was honored for her achievements in detection systems and sensors, and nonlinear harmonic emission in high-gain harmonic generation free-electron lasers.

Nominated, evaluated and selected annually, SPIE Fellows are members of distinction who have made significant scientific and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics and imaging. They are honored for technical achievement, service to the optics community and to SPIE in particular.

Developing new light sources

Biedron’s research interests include coherent light source development across the spectrum, Radio Frequency devices, controls, uses of light sources, and detection devices. At Colorado State, she is working with fellow faculty and researchers to integrate new and existing breakthroughs, such as those in controls and optics, into new light sources.

Prior to joining CSU, Biedron worked at Argonne National Laboratory for nearly 20 years, where she most recently served as director of the Department of Defense Project Office and associate director of the Argonne Accelerator Institute. Her technical research in her present and in these former roles is primarily in the area of directed energy for the Navy. From 2000-2011, she served as a technical and management consultant for the FERMI@Elettra Free-Electron Laser (FEL) project in Trieste, Italy. She continues her collaboration with FERMI@Elettra, which is a new free-electron laser – a very bright and coherent light source – that will be used for basic research.

Other collaborations include Argonne National Laboratory, the Boeing Company, Brookhaven, ENEA, Fermilab, INFN, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lockheed Martin, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Naval Postgraduate School, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and University of Twente.

A national expert on accelerators

Biedron has several honors based on her expertise and continued service to the science and technology community. Presently she is part of a 13-member committee for the Department of Energy to help formulate a 10-year science and technology roadmap for Congress. In 2010, she received a Letter of Commendation by the Chief of Naval Research, Admiral Nevin Carr, for her work on a key Naval program. In 2009, she served as Leader of the Security and Defense Working Group for the DOE’s Symposium and Workshop, "Accelerators for America's Future." The symposium and workshop brought together more than 400 scientists to examine the challenges for identifying, developing and deploying accelerators to meet the nation's and allies' needs in Discovery Science, Medicine and Biology, Industrial Applications and Production, Energy and Environment, and Security and Defense (

She recently served as adviser to two successful Ph.D. candidates as a visiting research associate faculty member for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland and as an adjunct senior research fellow in the School of Physics at Monash University. She is a senior member of the IEEE and has served on panels for the National Academies.

Biedron received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill., and her doctoral degree in accelerator physics from Lund University in Lund, Sweden.

Biedron, who is the only 2012 Fellow from a Colorado-based university, shares this SPIE Class of 2012 Fellows honor with other international colleagues from industry, academia, government agencies and national and government laboratories. For more information on SPIE Fellows, go to

Contact: Emily Wilmsen
Phone: (970) 491-2336