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Career Steps Profile: SPIE Fellow Sen Han

Art, Languages and Networks Influence Instrument Design

photo of spie fellow Sen Han of Veeco

Sen Han

Age: 46

Jobs: Principal scientist, Veeco Instruments, and adjunct professor, College of Optical Sciences at University of Arizona and Changchun University of Science and Technology in China

Expertise: Metrology engineering, optical testing, MEMS characterization through transmissive media (TTM), and thin film testing.

First Step in Optics: I learned from middle school physics that sun light (white light) is composed of seven colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet). I also learned to draw, sketch, paint with watercolors, and … that mixing the three primary colors results in black, not white. I asked myself why they are different. At University, I selected optical engineering as my major. All three of my degrees (BS, MS, PhD) are in optical engineering.

Major Influences, Networks:

  • Professor Daheng Wang, founder, China Academy of Science, China
  • Professor Hans J. Tiziani, University of Stuttgart, Germany, my PhD supervisor
  • Professor James C. Wyant of University of Arizona, who influenced my move to Arizona
  • Customers and grad students I work with whose questions and needs for metrology instruments guide me in designing new instruments.

Most Difficult Career Step: Using German as a third language for PhD work, University of Stuttgart

Easier Career Step: Using native language at Changchun Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics for BS and MS degrees

Most Successful Career Step: Veeco gives me a really good chance to design advanced metrology instruments (two-time winner of R&D100 Award) … and encourages my bridge role between industry and academia. I love both education and industry. We (industry) need to work with universities so we can learn from each other. It benefits both sides.

Recent: 2008 SPIE Fellow

Next Career Step: Combine science with art by developing a simple, high-tech metrology instrument that looks like a work of art and whose measurement results look like a beautiful picture.

Profile Submitted: January 2008

DOI: 10.1117/2.4200802.99

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