Peter Delfyett, a professor of optics in UCF’s College of Optics and Photonics, recently won the Florida Academy of Sciences’ 2014 Medalist Award for his outstanding contributions toward the advancement of science.

The award was announced at the 78th Florida Academy of Sciences meeting at Indian River State College last month. Delfyett was unable to attend the meeting, however, so he was presented the award Friday during Optics Day at UCF. Dave Karlen of the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County and the president of the academy, and Dr. Sanjay Sesodia from Barry University presented the award to Delfyett.

Delfyett , who has been at UCF since 1993, has appointments in UCF’s electrical engineering and physics departments, and holds the titles of trustee chair and Pegasus Professor, the highest academic honor a UCF faculty member can receive.

“Our group pursues research in the development of very fast photonic technologies that have applications in fiber optic communication and signal processing,” Delfyett said.

Some of the research he has worked on at UCF includes developing semiconductor diode-based lasers that produce the world’s shortest pulses and the world’s highest power from a laser diode, and generating an optical timing signal that is the most accurate ever generated from a laser diode.

The professor has been granted 36 patents and recently has been researching lasers that produce many colors simultaneously, which could be used in laser-based radar, optical communications, optical search engines and other processes.

Some of his patents were licensed to a start-up company, Raydiance, which uses lasers for advanced manufacturing techniques in making fuel injectors and stents for arteries to help maintain blood flow.

Delfyett is the second UCF researcher to receive the academy’s Medalist Award. Christian A. Clausen, who has been a chemistry professor at UCF since 1977, won the award in 2003. He and his colleagues develop environmentally friendly materials and synthesize catalytic agents that help destroy toxic materials.

The first winner of the award in 1963 was Archie Carr of the University of Florida, who helped sea turtle conservation by bringing attention to the world’s declining populations due to over-exploitation and loss of safe habitat. The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge near Melbourne Beach was established in 1994 in his honor.

“I appreciate the Florida Academy of Sciences recognition because it recognizes what we do here every day at the College of Optics and Photonics – CREOL – share a love of science with a new generation and, at the same time, impact the development of Florida’s high-tech economy,” Delfyett said.

MJ Soileau, vice president for Research & Commercialization and the founding director of CREOL, and Bahaa Saleh, dean of the College of Optics and Photonics also attended the recognition.