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SPIE Professional January 2008

In Memoriam: Paul Forman

Paul F. Forman, a founder of Zygo Corp. and an optics innovator, has died.

photo of spie fellow paul formanPaul F. Forman, an optics innovator and co-founder of Zygo Corp., died 17 November after suffering a heart attack.

Forman was a Fellow of SPIE and the Optical Society of America (OSA) and was a long-time contributor to SPIE. He was chair of the joint task force that oversaw the 1999 vote on whether SPIE and OSA should merge.

Forman co-founded ZYGo with Carl Zanoni and Sol Laufer in 1970, and he went on to serve as CEO and chairman of ZYGO until 1993. He was chairman emeritus until his passing.

"Paul Forman served as an inspiration to the diverse and extensive optics community in Connecticut," said Eugene Arthurs, CEO of SPIE. "He was a very constructive influence not only in developing ZYGO—a company whose products are in optical metrology facilities everywhere in the world—but in his community building with the professional societies."

SPIE Past President Anthony DeMaria, now with Coherent-DEOS in Bloomfield, CT, called Forman "a legend" in Connecticut high tech. "The world's optical community will miss him," DeMaria said. He also worked for Bausch & Lomb and Perkin Elmer Company, where he was program manager for the retroreflector array developed for and used on the first lunar landing.

Forman has been recognized by many organizations for his work. He received the SPIE Alan Gordon Award, a Westinghouse Science Talent Search Scholarship, the Bausch and Lomb Science Scholarship, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Precision Engineering, the Edwin H. Land Medal from the OSA and Society for Imaging Science and Technology, and NASA's Apollo Achievement Award.

He also received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Rochester's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2003 and delivered the commencement address at the Institute of Optics that year.

Information on a memorial service will be posted when it is available.

DOI: 10.1117/2.4200801.06

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