Iain Neil, chief optics advisor of Cooke Optics, has received the Gordon E. Sawyer Award for his "substantial, extensive and innovative lens designs which have had lasting impact in motion picture cinematography.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented the lifetime achievement award to Neil at a ceremony held on February 24. The accolade is one of eight awards being presented to 19 individuals and the first SciTech Awards taking place in person since 2019.
"I am delighted to receive this award from the Academy,” Neil said. “It’s wonderful to be recognized by respected friends and colleagues in this wonderful industry. I’m very fortunate that my career has allowed me to indulge in my passion – which is designing lenses that help cinematographers to create their creative visions on the big screen.”
Neil joined Cooke in 2021. He provides consulting advice and support for Cooke’s team of in-house lens designers. He has received twelve Academy Awards for Scientific and Technical Achievement for the design of lenses and optical systems, two Emmy Statuette engineering awards, and a Fuji Gold Medal Award recognizing his lens work in image origination. Neil holds more than 100 worldwide patents issued and applied for in visible, infrared, and ultraviolet optical design, entertainment systems, defense, industrial and consumer applications.
Prior to founding his own Swiss-based optical technology consulting company, ScotOptix, Neil was employed for more than eighteen years at Panavision as executive vice president, research and development and optics, and chief technical officer where he was known for his work on the Primo cine lenses.