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Karl Andrew Stetson honored with SPIE Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology

Karl Stetson Associates CEO honored for his work as holography pioneer

09 February 2018

Karl Andrew Stetson, recipient of 2018's SPIE Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology

Karl Andrew Stetson, recipient of 2018's SPIE Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA and CARDIFF, UK – Karl Andrew Stetson has been awarded the 2018 SPIE Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology. The annual award, presented by SPIE for achievements, developments, or inventions of significant importance to optical metrology, recognizes Stetson's pioneering work in holography as well as his early efforts to discover, explain, and formulate several variations of holographic interferometry.

Stetson is CEO of Karl Stetson Associates which offers optical systems for electronic holography, shearography (speckle pattern shearing interferometry), speckle correlation, and projected fringe moiré.

"Dr. Stetson is widely recognized as one of the people who has done a great deal to advance and promote this important optical metrology tool to practical applications in the fields of automotive and aerospace manufacturing," says SPIE Past-President and Fellow Kevin G. Harding, also a retired principal scientist at GE Research. "This work, reflected in this extensive publication history, serves as a cornerstone for the interpretation of optical nondestructive mechanical testing throughout the industry."

Dr. Stetson has been an active and prolific researcher in the application of holography, interferometry, speckle, and laser measurements, and has contributed a continuing stream of landmark publications that explain difficult phenomena and open up new avenues for development. He continues to be a critical voice in the areas of speckle, interferometry, phase shifting methods, and digital holography.

In 1964, together with Robert L. Powell, Stetson discovered the phenomenon of holographic interferometry, including time-average holography for vibration analysis, double-exposure holography for static-deformation measurement, and real-time interferometry for vibration and static deformation measurement. Stetson describes this discovery and his involvement in its theory and applications in a 2015 SPIE conference paper, 50 Years of Holographic Interferometry.

"In 1964, Robert Powell and I revolutionized interferometry by showing that, using holograms, we could apply it to objects other than optical elements," says Dr. Stetson.  "My professional career has been concerned ever since with studying and applying this phenomenon to metrology. While I have received awards concerned with its applications, the Chandra S. Vikram award is the first time that our discovery has been honored by an organization concerned with optics and photonics.  As such, this means a great deal to me, and I only wish that Robert Powell were still with us to share this honor."

The SPIE Chandra S. Vikram Award is presented annually in recognition of achievements, developments or inventions of significant importance to optical metrology.

About SPIE SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, is an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering and technology. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2017, SPIE provided $4 million in support of education and outreach programs. www.spie.org  


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