Donna Strickland Biography

(Optical physicist)

Donna Strickland is a Canadian optical physicist. Strickland is married to Douglas Dykaar.

More about the relationship

Strickland is married to Douglas Dykaar. She first met her partner at the University of Rochester. Both the couple received a doctorate in electrical engineering from the same University.

The couple has two children, a son, and a daughter. Daughter Hannah is a graduate student in astrophysics at the University of Toronto while her son Adam is studying comedy at Humber College.

Relationship Facts of Donna Strickland

  • Donna Strickland is married to Doug Dykaar.
  • She is mother of Two(Adam and Hannah).
  • Donna Strickland is not having an affair with anyone presently.
  • Her sexual orientation is straight.

Who is Donna Strickland?

Donna Strickland is a Canadian optical physicist. She is the 3rd woman to receive the Nobel Prize(Physics) for the invention of chirped pulse amplification (CPA).

Back in 2018, her name was included in the ‘BBC Top 100 Influential Women’. She is a full-time professor at the University of Waterloo. She is known for her pioneer contribution to laser technology.

Donna Strickland- Age, Ethnicity, Early Life & Family

Donna Theo Strickland is her birth name. She was born on 27 May 1959, in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.  She is 62 years as of today and is a Gemini zodiac.

Her mother Edith J. (née Ranney) was an English teacher. And her father Lloyd was an electrical engineer.

Strickland as a child took a trip to the then recently opened Ontario Science Centre where she saw lasers for the first time. The big lasers there and her father’s statement regarding the future of lasers truly inspired her.


At first, Donna graduated from Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute. She joined McMaster University because she wanted to study lasers and electro-optics, included in its engineering physics program. She completed the particular course of her interest in 1981.

Donna received a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in the year 1989. She conducted her doctoral research at the associated Laboratory for Laser Energetics.

The particular thesis is also known as Development of an Ultra-Bright Laser and an Application to Multi-photon Ionization.

Body Features- Height, Weight, Appearance

Donna has an average height and weight, like most adult women. Furthermore, a brief explanation of Strickland’s body features is not available on the social site. She has fair skin tone, grey hair, brown eyes and wears spectacles.

Donna Strickland- Work & Research

She researched the method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses with supervisor Mourou. In 1985, they were successful in generating ultrashort high-intensity laser pulses. During the process, they did not destroy amplifying material.

The research pair worked on the method of making pulses of high-power laser light of short duration. First, they stretched the laser pulses in time to reduce their peak power. Later they amplified the pulses, finally compressed to decrease the intensity of the pulse and raise it subsequently. Their method is used for corrective eye surgeries.

They created the shortest and most intense laser beams which have given us new opportunities to research further.

Awards and recognition

From the beginning of the year 1998 to date, she won various awards.

  • In 1998, she received Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.
  •  Next, in 2008 she became the Fellow of The Optical Society.
  •  While in 2018, she received Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • In 2019, she won Companion of the Order of Canada and 4 other honors same year.
  •  After that, in 2020, she joined as a Member of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Recently in 2021, she was appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.


  • She issued the Scholarly Article named Compression of amplified chirped optical pulses in 1985.
  • Her other publications include the journal, Optics Communications.
  •  She also brought out the theory of Resistance of short pulses of self-focusing and others.


She is an advocate of science rather than gender issues but she explained her undergrad story which shows how deep-rooted is gender biases.

A male student threatened to pound her when she outperformed him in maths class. At the first glance, Strickland was shocked but the inner desire of proving self-worth was delightful. She explains “All I could think was: ‘Girl beat you. Girl beat you bad.”

Donna Strickland- Net worth, Salary

According to a few sources, her net worth is around $ 1.5 Million as of 2022. She successfully listed herself among the richest physicist. However, a brief sheet of her annual earning is not available. She lives a modest lifestyle.

Rumors/ Controversy

From the very beginning, she had a solo focus on her research. Thus, she manages to keep herself away from rumors and controversy.

Social Media

She does not use any social media accounts like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram. Her work at the same time is admired all over these platforms.

Trivia/ Facts

  • She is the first Canadian female scientist, who won Nobel Prize.
  • Strickland was a research associate at the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa from 1988 to 1991.
  • She describes herself as a Laser jock.
  • She refused to become an astronaut because she was claustrophobic and afraid of heights.

Also, read more from Roger Penrose, Stephen Hawking, and Demo Castellon