Gisele Bennett

Gisele Bennett - 2015 SPIE Women in Optics Planner

Regents' Researcher, Director, Electro-Optical Systems Lab at GTRI, and Professor Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Tech, USA
Country of Birth: Africa

Educational Background: PhD and Certificate Management of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology; BSE and MSEE University of Central Florida

Gisele Bennett

My high school physics teacher inspired me to continue into a science and engineering discipline in college. My desire to know how things work was reinforced after taking physics and math, and engineering allowed me to apply what I learned in both. In grad school, my master's thesis advisor, Prof. Ron Phillips, inspired and nudged me to continue my studies for a PhD.

Georgia Tech Research Institute is the applied research arm of Georgia Tech. I am the director of the Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory at GTRI and a Regents' Research and Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. In my role as a laboratory director, I manage and lead a group of researchers and students who conduct research in EO modeling of systems, data analytics, and micro-electronics and nanotechnology, and build EO sensors, LIDAR and ISR systems. We have the ability to model the systems, design the components down to the subcomponent level, and analyze and interpret the data to make it useful for the end user. I lead a diverse and talented lab of engineers, scientists, mathematicians, physicist, and other disciplines to develop systems that are transitioned to industry or our DoD sponsors.

Focus on learning, understanding, and mastering the basics of science and math. You should be true to yourself and understand where you derive your energies, e.g. is it in the lab, is it theoretical, is it scientific management, is it creating? Always ask questions and reevaluate your goals and career path. There is no one correct answer that fits all. Science is hard and being a female sometimes requires you work harder. Optics is the future. You can make a difference so do not give up, and always continue to discover.