Leno Pedrotti, who spent more than 30 years of his career at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), first as a professor and then as head of the Physics Department, died on August 19 after a long illness.
Through the years Pedrotti assumed various roles of service to the optics community: as a member of the Industrial Advisory Committee for the LEOT Program at Cincinnati Technical College; as a visiting lecturer for the United States Air Force Academy; and as a member of the Executive Committee Joint Services Optical Program at the Optical Sciences Center, University of Arizona. Besides being an active member of SPIE, some of his professional memberships included the Association of Physics Teachers, the American Society for Engineering Education, the American Vocational Association, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Leno received multiple awards during his career including the Tau Beta Pi Outstanding Teacher Award (several years in a row), the American Vocational Association Outstanding Membership Award, the United States Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and the Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Award.
He retired from AFIT in 1982 and accepted the role of Professor Emeritus. At that time he joined CORD and began to lend his talents to curriculum development. From 2006 he was active in curriculum development and revision for OP-TEC: the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education and served as OP-TEC's Senior Scientific Advisor.
He was especially active in the Education and Training in Optics and Photonics series of meetings. "SPIE started this series, with his encouragement, and it is now shared by all the major societies in optics," said Dan Hull, director of OP-TEC. "He had an inspiring passion for education at all levels and while his writings and his books will testify to that, his real legacy is the many people he lifted in so many ways."
PDF of Leno Pedrotti tribute.