BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA – 15 May 2020 – Aleksei Smirnov has been awarded a 2020 Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, for their potential contributions to the field of optics, photonics or related field.

SPIE Aleksey SmirnovSmirnov is a first-year master’s student in the Institute of Chemistry at SaintPetersburg State University (SPbU) (Russian Federation). His current research, under the guidance of Dr. Elena Solovyeva, is dedicated to the development of nanocomposite plasmonic labels for the needs of medicine and biotechnology.

Smirnov said, "These labels can be several orders of magnitude ahead of the sensitivity of conventional fluorescent labels and used simultaneously in photodynamic therapy. It is a great honor to be awarded by SPIE. Such recognition gives confidence in oneself and a strong motivation for self-development". He is a member of the SPbU SPIE Student Chapter and actively promotes photonics.

In 2020, the Society is awarding $298,000 in education scholarships to 78 outstanding SPIE student members, based on their potential contribution to optics and photonics, or a related discipline. Awardwinning applicants were evaluated, selected and approved by the SPIE Scholarship Committee, Chaired by SPIE volunteer Kate Medicus.

Through 2019, SPIE has distributed over $6 million dollars in individual scholarships. This ambitious effort reflects the Society's commitment to education and to the next generation of optical scientists and engineers around the world.

To view other 2020 press releases as they become available go to the 2020 Scholarship Winners page or learn more about SPIE scholarships on

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves more than 255,000 constituents from 183 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2019, SPIE provided more than $5.6 million in community support including scholarships and awards, outreach and advocacy programs, travel grants, public policy, and educational resources.