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Janet Fender receives 2015 U.S. Air Force Distinguished Senior Professional Award

08 January 2016

SPIE  Fellow Janet Fender, chief scientist at the U.S. Air Force (USAF) Air Combat Command, has received the 2015 USAF Distinguished Senior Professional Award. The Presidential Rank Award recognizes exceptional performance over an extended period of time.

She is the scientific adviser to the Air Combat commander at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, provides scientific expertise and technical guidance throughout the command, and is the primary interface to the scientific community.

Fender is also the U.S. member of the UN Space Surveillance Expert Group, which establishes international policy for space.

She previously served as chief scientist for space vehicles and senior scientist for advanced imaging at the Air Force Research Lab, and her research in the field of directed energy was a cornerstone for the Strategic Defense Initiative. Ultimately responsible for the design and engineering of Air Force Space Command's premier space surveillance sensor, her leadership ensured full operational readiness of the advanced electro-optical sensor at Mount Haleakala, Hawaii.

Fender served on the SPIE Board of Directors from 1985 to 1987 and was featured in the 2005 SPIE Women in Optics planner. She has master's and doctorate degrees in optics from the University of Arizona.

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