Howard (Ho Wai) Lee

Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy
Faculty, UCI Convergence Optical Sciences Initiative (COSI)

Dr. Howard Lee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and affiliated faculty at UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic.  Before joining UCI in 2020, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at Baylor University and an Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering (IQSE) Fellow and visiting professor at Texas A&M.

From 2012 to 2015, Dr. Lee was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Caltech, working with Professor Harry Atwater in active plasmonics/metasurfaces.  In 2012, he received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Germany under the supervision of Professor Philip Russell.

Dr. Lee’s current research focuses on active linear, nonlinear and quantum plasmonic/metasurface/zero-index optics; quantum biophotonics and imaging; “meta”-fiber optics and hybrid photonic-plasmonic on-chip optical devices.  His work on nano-optics, plasmonics and photonic crystals has led to 35 journal publications in various journals, such as Science, Nano Letters, Advanced Materials and American Chemical Society (ACS) Photonics and Laser & Photonics Reviews, as well as 50 invited talks and 130 conference papers.

Dr. Lee is a recipient of an International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) Rising Researcher Award (2020), Baylor Outstanding Professor Award (2020), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Director’s Fellowship (2019), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Optoelectronics Global Conference (OGC) Young Scientist Award (2019), National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award (2018), DARPA Young Faculty Award (2017), Optical Society of America (OSA) Ambassador (2018), American Physical Society (APS) Robert S. Hyer Award (2017), Baylor Young Investigator Award (2018), Baylor Proposal Development Award (2016) and Croucher Postdoctoral Fellowship (2012).

At Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic, Dr. Lee’s research is focused on using emerging nanophotonic platforms and “meta”-optical fibers for advancing optical imaging, sensing and medical applications.  This includes the development of advanced in-fiber imaging endoscopy or laser surgery element, tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for molecule detection and biosensing, novel optical fiber laser source/nano-laser and a new optical cooling/trapping platform.

  • Education

    Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 2012-2015
    Ph.D., Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Physics, 2012
    MPhil, City University of Hong Kong, Electronic Engineering, 2008
    BSc., City University of Hong Kong, Applied Physics, 2006

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