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University of Rochester honors SPIE members who are optics entrepreneurs

11 November 2013

Members of the University of Rochester Institute of Optics (USA) community recently celebrated its rich history of entrepreneurship at the fall Industrial Associates meeting.

Some 115 graduates, faculty members, and others with ties to the university have created at least 160 companies since 1953, including 30 living SPIE members and the late Tropel co-founder and UR alumnus Robert E. Hopkins for whom the university's Robert E. Hopkins Center for Optical Design and Engineering is named.

LOGO FOR UNIVERSITY OF RochesterThe recognition of the optics entrepreneurs on the Rochester campus 13-14 October included panel discussions on forming an optics and photonics startup, company development, presentations from optics companies involved with the Industrial Associates program, and a reception.

SPIE Fellow Duncan Moore, UR vice provost for entrepreneurship, UR alumnus, and founder of Gradient Lens, believes there may be more optics entrepreneurs than have been identified. He requests anyone with information on a UR optics graduate, former staff, or former faculty member who has started a company to contact him at dtmooreaa@optics.rochester.edu.

The list of optics entrepreneurs from UR begins with Hopkins, known as the "father of optical engineering." Hopkins, who died in 2009, served as a UR professor, director of the Institute of Optics, and president of Tropel, a maker of customized precision optical instrumentation that is now a division of Corning. Hopkins was also an SPIE Fellow, member of the SPIE Board of Governors from 1982 to 1984, and recipient of the SPIE Gold Medal in 1983.

In addition to Hopkins and Duncan, the list includes SPIE Fellows Robert E. Fischer, 1984 SPIE president; 1986 SPIE President James C. Wyant; Katherine Creath; Gary DeBell; Thomas I. Harris; G. Michael Morris; and Jay M. Kumler as well as SPIE Senior Members David Aikens and Linda Smith.

Other living SPIE members recognized include:

  • Philippe Bado
  • David Berg
  • Christopher Cotton
  • Turan Erdogan
  • Stephen D. Fantone
  • Richard Forkey
  • Joe Gortych
  • Susan N. Houde-Walter
  • Michael Houk
  • Joseph Kim
  • Dennis C. Leiner
  • Lenore Jo McMackin
  • James Munro
  • Andrew S. Murnan
  • Michael Pavia
  • Richard N. Pfisterer
  • Michael Thomas
  • Flemming Tinker
  • Blair Unger
  • James Zavislan