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John Ballato wins SC Governor's Award, named VP at Clemson

09 April 2014

photo of John Ballato

SPIE Fellow John Ballato has won a 2014 South Carolina Governor's Award for Excellence in Scientific Research. Ballato, who was recently named the vice president for economic development at Clemson University, will receive the award at the annual meeting of the South Carolina Academy of Science in Charleston 12 May.

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley told Ballato in a letter, "Your research in optical materials science has had a far-reaching impact, not only on the state but also the nation and the world, and your contributions to building our state's research infrastructure have increased the visibility of South Carolina within the global scientific community."

Ballato's award came in the wake of two other high honors. He has been selected to deliver the prestigious Arthur L. Friedberg Ceramics Engineering Tutorial and Lecture in Pittsburgh in October. Ballato was also named the 2013 winner of the Class of ‘39 Award, which was established to inspire the greatest possible achievement by Clemson faculty.

In addition to his new duties as a university vice president, Ballato will also continue as professor of materials science and engineering, director of the Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET), and academic director for the Clemson University Restoration Institute.

Ballato currently serves on program committees for SPIE Photonics West and SPIE Photonics Europe, and has also served as session chair and conference chair.

He has presented dozens of papers at SPIE events and is the coauthor of a paper, "Compositional tuning of glass for the suppression of nonlinear and parasitic fiber laser phenomena," to be presented at SPIE DSS in Baltimore, Maryland (USA), 6 May 2014.

"It is humbling to lead this central enterprise for Clemson - especially given our mission as the state's land-grant research university," Ballato said following his appointment as vice president. "Now it's time to roll up our sleeves and leverage the remarkable intellectual capacity and infrastructural assets on main campus and our enterprise campuses to unleash job creation for South Carolina by enhancing the competitiveness of our big and small, new and existing companies."