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In memoriam: Douglas Sinclair, former Optical Engineering editor

12 October 2015

Douglas Sinclair, founder of Sinclair Optics, died on 10 October at age 77.

Sinclair obtained his PhD from the University of Rochester, working under Robert Hopkins. His optical design software, OSLO (Optics Software for Layout and Optimization), was developed at the university in the 1970s. It was first marketed commercially in 1976, and has been revised and expanded several times. In 2001, Lambda Research Corporation acquired the OSLO program.

Sinclair was editor of the SPIE journal in 1972. According to former SPIE President Brian J. Thompson in a historical essay for the University of Rochester about the university's interaction with SPIE:

"The society's journal has gone through a series of changes from Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers Journal to Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers Journal to Journal of SPIE in 1971. A major and very significant change took place in the journal in 1972 when Douglas Sinclair of the Institute accepted the editorship with a mandate to re-think the journal, including its name, the format, the process, etc. With great insight Doug suggested that the journal should be called Optical Engineering, and so it is to this day. His vision for it has certainly been realized as successive editors have built on those solid foundations set in 1972."