Daheng Wang, founder and Honorary President of the Chinese Optical Society, passed away 21 July at the age of 96 in Beijing, China.
"SPIE expresses deep condolences to the optical community in China on the loss of the revered Daheng Wang," said SPIE President Katarina Svanberg. "His contributions to optics and in particular his rebuilding a strong Chinese capability in optics and optical instrumentation form an extraordinary lifetime accomplishment."
Wang was widely regarded as the father of China's optical engineering. An SPIE Fellow and member of both the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, he is one of the founders of applied optical science in China. He led the creation of some of the best programs in optics in the country, and in conjunction with colleagues, initiated the establishment of the Chinese Academy of Engineering's multiple optics research institutes.
Wang served several times as symposium chair for SPIE Photonics Asia. He chaired conferences, was a journal author, and gave a number of presentations at SPIE symposiums.
"I had the honor of being welcomed to Beijing by SPIE Fellow Professor Wang some years ago," said SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs. "He was a delight to meet, full of knowledge and curiosity, and very interested in optics in the U.K where he spent some time. He made very gracious attempts to educate me on Chinese cuisine at the banquets we shared. Chinese optics has lost a giant, and we have lost a friend."
A ceremony to pay final respects and farewell to Wang Daheng was held 27 July at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery.
Read an interview with Wang from the January 2007 edition of SPIE Professional.