Michael Shao, an expert in the field of optical systems engineering and manager of JPL’s Interferometry Center of Excellence, has received the 2010 Michelson Prize from the International Astronomical Union and the Mount Wilson Institute.

At a recent meeting of the International Society for Optical Engineering, Shao was honored for his many years of fundamental contributions to the field of optical interferometry and for his pioneering work on ground-based and space-based interferometers, including the Keck Interferometer, for which he served as project scientist.

Shao, who joined JPL in 1989, is currently the project scientist for the Space Interferometry Mission.

The Michelson Prize is awarded to provide recognition within the interferometry community, as well as in the broader science community, of scientific research programs and results from the rapidly growing field of optical interferometry. Shao was acknowledged under the prize’s Lifetime Achievements category, which recognizes a substantial history of contributions and international leadership as evidenced by publications, advancement of knowledge, reputation, procurement and management of resources, or accomplishments of former students.