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Sandia's Robert Boye named Arizona Optical Sciences' Alumnus of the Year

12 September 2016

SPIE Member Robert "Rob" Boye, manager of the Physics-Based Microsystems department at Sandia National Labs (USA), has been selected as the 2016 Alumnus of the Year for the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences in recognition of his research, industry, and philanthropic leadership in the optics community.

Boye, who received his MS and PhD degrees from the college, will receive the award 28 October during the university's homecoming celebration.

He is a trustee for the Boye Foundation, founded by his late father, William E. Boye Jr., which has contributed nearly $1 million in scholarships and optical lab equipment to the college. The foundation also established a permanent scholarship endowment, The Boye Family Graduate Student Scholarship in Optical Sciences. The scholarship is part of the Friends of Tucson Optics (FoTO) scholarship program that provides a first-year graduate student with a stipend of $20,000 and waived tuition.

At Sandia, Boye supervises a department of nearly 20 scientists, engineers, technologists, and support staff at the Microsystems Engineering Sciences and Applications facility in Albuquerque, NM. The group works on state-of-the-art quantum sensing technologies and devices, including atomic-physics based sensors; atom and ion trapping devices and systems; unique diffractive, sub-wavelength and micro-optical components and systems; critical electrochemical materials processes; and micro-machined devices.

Boye has been a mentor to many scientists and engineers at Sandia National Labs and has authored or coauthored more than 30 technical articles, including in SPIE journals and at numerous SPIE events.

"He is a true philanthropic leader in making opportunities possible for students in higher education," said Thomas L. Koch, dean of the College of Optical Sciences. "As a Boye Foundation trustee, Rob has led their interest in generously funding scholarships and teaching lab upgrades at the College for over a decade now."  

Boye previously worked at Westinghouse developing advanced electro-optical switches and acousto-optic modulators while earning an MS in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He also has a BS in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"Optics has been the cornerstone of my career, and it's hard to express in words how much I have benefited from this technology and the community that is the College of Optical Sciences," Boye said.

More information in a university news release.