Women in Lighting Celebrates with Awards in Light Art, Education/Research and Engineering; 2 Americans Received Highest Honor

by | Jun 10, 2022 | News

Light is beautiful and dramatic. It speaks softly or not at all, and light is this magical feeling inside.”Liudmyla Pavlenko, Judges Choice, Engineering

The Women in Lighting Awards were held earlier today and it was one of the most professional online videos that our industry has produced. Light CollectiveArchifosformalighting are the companies behind this very important project.  In 2022, WIL wanted to seek out and celebrate outstanding women in the following three categories: Light Art, Education/Research and Engineering. The awards closed with 131 nominators submitting and 114 nominees in total from 28 countries. This is world-wide competition, and all 114 nominations are winners.  Two nominees received Judges Choice in each category.


Jen Lewin / USA

“With more than 25 years of experience working as a Light artist, Jen Lewin thinks beyond traditional art exhibitions to create an experience that brings vibrancy to public spaces.” Dipali Shirsat

Jen is an interactive artist and engineer with a studio based in New York City who specializes in large scale installations in public spaces, usually combining elements such as light, sound and complex engineering. Her work can be found at many festivals and exhibited in galleries around the world.

In her acceptance speech, Jen discussed the importance of growing up in Maui near a volcano where clouds would come in at eye level.  Jen said, “You have this condition where you were sort of looking into the clouds and there’d be the sun above the clouds and you could see under the clouds and there’d be these rays of light that would travel through the clouds, creating an unbelievable epic, colorful, and vibrant sunset.”

Liz West / UK
“Liz is an inspirational artist bringing the power of colour to many people’s lives.” Eve Gaut

Liz is a British visual artist. West’s practice comprises site-specific artworks, sculpture, and immersive light art installations. Her artworks often combine colour and light with the aim of heightening sensory awareness and experience for the viewer.

Liz explained the importance of light inspiring her because, “Without light, there is no color.”  She went on to say, “For me personally, suffering from seasonal affective disorder, using light and color together is a form of therapy and it helps my well-being.   Putting those two things together in artworks brings people joy and happiness and I love that.”


Professor Lyn Godley  / USA and Aleksandra Stratimirovic / SWEDEN


Professor Dr Banu Manav / TURKEY

Her dedication to her students and research has always impressed me. Starting her path in lighting when just a few people knew about the field back in 1995 in Turkey.” Inci Zeynep Kaban

Banu is the Dean of Kadir Has University in the Art and Design Faculty. She has been an active member in the Turkish National Committee on Illumination for 11 years, and since 2020, represents Turkey in the CIE, Division 6 (Photobiology and Photochemistry). Her research in lighting and collaborations can be found under the categories of interior lighting and space perception, visual comfort, and interior design.

Banu explained she was nominated by a younger colleague. She said, “My message to younger people is that light is a balancing act. And light is the basic energy for a healthy life.  Always have a target in your life.  Your present situation is not your final destination.”

Professor Mariana Figueiro /USA

“Mariana is an internationally known leader in lighting research and education; her contribution to the field of light and human health, especially for older adults, Alzheimer’s patients has been invaluable.” Amardeep M. Dugar 

Brazilian-Cuban architect and scientist Mariana, researches the effect of light on human health, including alertness and performance. Having served as the Director of the Lighting Research Center (LRC) and Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), she is now serving as Director of the Mount Sinai Center for Light and Health Research.

Mariana said it was a great honor, “I am a migrant. I am a woman. I am an architect.   I’m getting an award in research and education in lighting and that is amazing.”   She added, “It also shows the power of teamwork as I’m not getting this by myself.   I have a great team of people that I have worked with along the way with great mentors and great collaborators.  It really means to me the importance of having that support in your life of those colleagues and those amazing people that I have been working with.”


Andrea Hartranft FIALD / USA and Dr/Asst Professor Karolina Zielinkska-Dabowska / POLAND & SWITZERLAND


Dr Ruth Kelly Waskett / UK

“Ruth is a true mentor and change maker. A knowledgeable, supportive and inspiring person. She is deeply motivated by the need to address how daylight can bring buildings to life and the positive impact it has on people’s mental health and well-being.” Karen Owens

Ruth is a daylight specialist within the Lighting team at Hoare Lea and immediate Past President of the Society of Light and Lighting. She is both a visiting lecturer at University College London and contributes to the daylight element of the Lighting Education Trust (LET) Diploma Course. She also volunteers as a mentor for the new Silhouette awards and has also been involved in the writing of a number of lighting guides produced by the CIBSE Society of Light & Lighting (SLL), including being principal author of the revised Daylighting Guide (Lighting Guide 10).

She told the audience that Light inspires her because of how it transforms spaces and our experience of spaces.  Ruth stated, “I’ve always been struck by the enormous transformative power of light and been fascinated by looking at how things appear in natural life and then how different they can appear with artificial light. Life is that amazing combination of art and science.”

Liudmyla Pavlenko / Ukraine 

“Living in a country ravaged by war, Liudmyla brings light into our dark world.” Amardeep M. Dugar 

Liudmyla Pavlenko is a lighting design engineer with double master’s degrees in lighting from the National Aviation University/Ukraine and University of Wismar/Germany. She currently heads the Electrical Engineering and Source of Lighting Department in Ukraine.

Liudmyla gave the most passionate talk.  As she looked into the camera it felt as if she were speaking directly to me.  I quickly texted a few colleagues and they felt the same way.  “Light is beautiful and dramatic. It speaks softly or not at all and light is this magical feeling inside.” she told me.  She further added, “Light inspires me the brave enough my dear to follow your heart to follow your dreams I’m not saying that everything will be easy or perfect but you have enough strength to go through all the difficulties praises spontanea every moment life is priceless gift and you shouldn’t waste it on the negative emotions or useless things ability for your every decision and action just do it I believe in you honestly for me it’s like a miracle.”


Kelly Smith / UK and Melody Culanag / CANADA

Watch the entire celebration on YouTube: