Emmanuel Hugot is a French astrophysicist and entrepreneur, expert in innovative instrumentation. His interests in this field are focused on the manufacturing of super-polished freeform optics for cutting-edge instrumentation, the development of a new type of focal planes using curved detectors, thus leading to compact and cost-effective instrumentation, crucial for the forthcoming giant observatories.
For ten years now, he leads R&D projects for high angular resolution and high contrast imaging, based on the synergies between active and adaptive optics, materials science and innovative focal plane architectures. As this work aims at improving imaging systems, it has a multi-disciplinary impact and finds applications in bio-medical science (brain or retina imaging), earth observation for climate monitoring or artistic projects.
Some of his hand-made mirrors are today at the core of the most powerful astronomical instruments, such as the VLT-SPHERE planet finder, seeking for exoplanets every night. Recent developments will equip the future NASA’s flagship mission WFIRST, with the realization of all the mirrors of the coronagraphic instrument.
His work received a wide recognition. He has been awarded the young researcher prize in 2014, delivered by the French association of professional astronomers, the CNRS bronze medal, delivered to early career scientists and the prestigious MERAC prize in New Technologies from the European Astronomical Society in 2017. In 2018 and 2019 he has been nominated to the Jean Jerphagnon prize for young researchers/entrepreneurs, and his start-up CURVE-One was selected to the SPIE start-up challenge Semi finals in 2019.