Joe Howard serves at the lead optical designer of the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor of the Hubble Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018.
Howard received his PhD and Master's degree in Optics at The Institute of Optics (University of Rochester). He began a Research Associateship from the National Research Council, and worked as a visiting scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight program. Howard is now a full-time NASA employee at Goddard, and his main areas of expertise include geomtrical optics, optical design, optical analysis, modeling and optimization.
Howard is a Senior Member of SPIE and has presented more than 30 papers at SPIE conferences. He serves on the program committee for the annual Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization conference at SPIE Optics + Photonics. He won the NASA Award for Excellence in Mentoring (2009) for his work with student interns during the summer. He also received the NASA Award for Engineering Excellence (2006).