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SLL Annual Awards 2020

The Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) held its annual awards on Thursday 3 December 2020. Celebrating the achievements of its members and the lighting community, the SLL awards were hosted by Dr Ruth Kelly Waskett, President Elect of the Society and took place online for the first time.

Watch the SLL Annual Awards on demand

The awards began with a short presentation from Dr Manuel Spitschan, recipient of the SLL Jean Heap Bursary 2019. Manuel provided an update on his project, which is based on the development of the luox.app; a new, open access tool for calculations relating to light and lighting. The objective of the project and the luox.app is to make sharing spectral data easier and to make calculations more accessible. 

The funding from the bursary has been used firstly, to run user testing, engaging with a range of users including SLL members to gather feedback in order to refine its development; and secondly, to validate the calculations with the CIE. Manuel then provided a demonstration of the app in use and the type of data it requires and produces.


Photo: Michael Eleftheriades

The 2019 Leon Gaster and Walsh Weston award winners were the first to be announced. These are awarded annually for the best published papers, featured in Lighting Research & Technology (LR&T) journal. The Leon Gaster award is presented for the best paper concerning lighting applications and recognises the role that Leon Gaster played as founder of the Illuminating Engineering Society in 1909, later to become the Society of Light and Lighting.

The 2019 Leon Gaster Award went to Jan Wienold, T. Iwata, M.S. Khanie et al. for their paper, Cross Validation and Robustness of Daylight Glare Metrics (LR&T volume 51, edition 7). Jan Wienold accepted the award, thanking his fellow collaborators, 13 in total. Jan also highlighted that they are very happy with the outcome of the paper, which illustrated that whilst there may still be room for improvement, the existing metrics for predicting glare for daylight situations are quite reliable. The research behind this paper also contributed to a huge international data set, enabling further evaluation in the future. Jan encouraged this kind of research and collaboration.

The Walsh Weston award is given for the best paper considering more fundamental lighting matters. It recognises the role of J. W. T. Walsh who was instrumental in developing the photometric systems we use today and H. C. Weston who worked in the area of illumination for work, eventually leading to the publication of the first Code for Lighting in the UK. The 2019 Walsh Weston Award went to Kevin Houser and Tony Esposito for their paper, A New Measure of Colour Discrimination for LEDs and Other Light Sources (LR&T, volume 51, edition 1). Kevin Houser accepted the award, thanking the SLL, the LR&T editorial board and his co-author, Tony Esposito.

The SLL Regional Award is presented in recognition of the work of an individual in representing the Society in their region. The 2019 award was posthumously awarded to Dr Alfred Leung, former SLL representative for CIBSE Merseyside and North Wales region. Alfred made an outstanding contribution to the SLL and CIBSE. This award will be presented as part of the CIBSE Merseyside and North Wales regional dinner in 2021.

Recognising outstanding service to the Society, the 2019 Lighting Award went to Sophie Parry FSLL. Simon Robinson, Chair of the SLL Technical and Publications Committee was invited to deliver Sophie’s citation, in which he referenced her ongoing contribution to the committee and her role in producing SLL Lighting Guides. Specifically, Simon referenced Sophie’s role in leading the production of the latest edition of SLL Lighting Guide 14: Control of Electric Lighting, CIBSE Commissioning Code L: Lighting 2018, and the upcoming, brand new SLL Lighting Guide 20: Lighting and Facilities Management. Sophie is currently the Vice-Chair of the SLL Technical and Publications Committee.

Within her acceptance speech, Sophie highlighted the benefits and importance of life-long learning. She commented that people take in information in a variety of ways and that learning from your experience, practice and mistakes is essential in developing an informed and creative approach. 

Honorary Fellowship of the SLL is awarded in recognition of a significant contribution, not only to the services of the Society but to the wider industry as well. This year, Honorary Fellowship was awarded to Professor Russell Foster and to David Holmes. 

Professor Peter Raynham was invited to deliver Russell’s citation in which he outlined his pivotal role in discovering non-rod, non-cone, intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). In accepting the award, Russell thanked the Society. He highlighted that following the discovery of ipRGCs, the SLL was quick to embrace and support the ongoing research. Echoing his presentation delivered for the SLL Applying Human Health Symposium in November, Russell commented that there are still many unanswered questions relating to the role of ipRGCs in capturing light; understanding the quantity and duration of light exposure required; how the classical photo receptors (rods and cones) interact with them; how many types of ipRGC there actually are; and how they might regulate different non image forming responses to light.

The second Honorary Fellowship was awarded to David Holmes EurIng CEng MCIBSE FSLL. David’s citation was delivered by SLL Secretary, Brendan Keely within which he referenced David’s belief in responsibility and accountability, leading by example and judging by results. David was awarded the SLL Lighting Award in 2017. He has sat on SLL Council and the Technical and Publications committee, contributing to and leading the authorship of a number of SLL Lighting Guides.

In accepting his Honorary Fellowship, David thanked the Society and described some of the changes within the industry and lighting technology that he has seen throughout his career in lighting. David also shared his desire to continue to contribute to the production of SLL guidance, offering support to his peers on the SLL Technical and Publications Committee. 

The final award was the SLL President’s Award, first awarded to Joe Lynes in 2009, recognising a significant and lifetime contribution to lighting. The 2019 President’s Medal was awarded to Henrik Clausen. Past SLL President, Jim Shove was invited to deliver Henrik’s citation.

Jim referenced Henrik’s career in lighting to date, including his time as Managing Director of Fagerhult Lighting in Denmark and his time as a board member of the Danish Illuminating Society. Henrik has dedicated much of his career to lighting education, founding the Fagerhult Lighting Academy in 2005. He is head of Fagerhult research, leading and expanding on studies relating to light and human health.

In 2015, Henrik was appointed Associate Professor of Lighting Design at Aalborg University, Denmark. He has also published two books, All you need to know about Lighting and Light and Communication. Henrik regularly contributes to conferences and events, as well as delivering guest lectures at universities internationally. 

Henrik was very touched to receive the SLL President’s Medal, which is surprisingly the first medal that he has received in his illustrious career. In accepting the award, Henrik gave thanks to the SLL and its membership. His main area of interest now is to keep up with the scientific community on applied lighting research and deliver this back to the lighting community in an accessible, easy, and entertaining way. 

You can view a full recording of the SLL Awards 2020 online.

If you have any questions or if you would like more information about the Society of Light and Lighting and becoming a member, please contact sll@cibse.org