Sam Di Vita, who sparked the development of SiO2 fiber by soliciting bids for a glass fiber capable of transmitting light signals in 1961, died on July 2 at his home in West Long Branch, NJ.
Di Vita was a scientist for the Department of the Army, Fort Monmouth, N.J. retiring in 1982 after 41 yrs. He began civilian service to the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1941.
Involved with the investigation of ceramic dielectric materials, this research resulted in fine particle ceramic material for which patents were awarded for the nano powders which were hot pressed into stable ceramic dielectrics. Retiring in 1982, he remained a consultant to the Army Communications & Electronics Command (CECOM) until 1997. He volunteered until recently as a consultant on nano science.
"He was a stalwart of the Army here in New Jersey at Ft. Monmouth," said James Harrington, professor at Rutgers University and past president of SPIE. "Sam was one of those that was instrumental in getting the fiber optic program going here at Rutgers. I remember him as someone who always had a new idea he wanted you to listen to or help him with. He really worked for the Army way after his retirement."
The Inventors of Glass Fiber Optics at the US Army Signal Corp (About.com)
Sam Di Vita obituary from Asbury Park Press