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In memoriam: Steve Jacobs, optical fabrication expert

03 June 2015

Stephen D. JacobsStephen D. Jacobs passed away peacefully at home in Rochester on 30 May at age 67.

Jacobs received his B.S. in Optics and his Ph.D. in Optics from the University of Rochester, and he remained at the university for his entire career, joining the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) in 1975 as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laser Development Group.

After serving as a Research Associate at LLE in 1976, he was appointed to the position of scientist at LLE in 1977, Group Leader for Optical Materials in 1980, and Senior Scientist in 1982. Dr. Jacobs also served as the Acting Director of LLE's Engineering Division from 1984-1990, Optical Engineering Department Head from 1990-2007, and was most recently serving as the Optical Materials Technology Department Head.

He was appointed as a full Professor in both the Institute of Optics and the Department of Chemical Engineering (2000), as well as in Materials Science (2001).

Jacobs authored over 90 peer-reviewed publications, two book chapters and holds 17 patents covering a wide range of optical materials and devices. He was highly passionate about ensuring that young minds are exposed to, excited by, and motivated towards careers in science and technology, and he contributed greatly to the development of an optics kit for K-12 students. He also served as thesis adviser for many graduate students in optics, materials science, and chemical engineering.

A fellow of SPIE, Jacobs served for many years on program committees for the Optical Manufacturing and Testing series of conferences, held each year at SPIE Optics + Photonics in San Diego. He was an author of more than 50 papers at SPIE events, and also served as a course instructor for SPIE, and cochair of SPIE Optifab in Rochester in 2003.

Funeral services were held on June 2 in Rochester. Jacobs is survived by his wife of 44 years, Leslie; two sons, one grandson, and numerous other colleagues and friends. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the:

Stephen D. Jacobs Endowed Fellowship in Optics
c/o University of Rochester
Gift and Donor Records
300 East River Road
P.O. Box 270032
Rochester, NY 14627

Jacobs team home page (University of Rochester)