SPIE member Tobias Schmid, a PhD candidate at CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida, is the 2008 winner of the Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship.
The Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship is a $5,000 cash grant that honors the memory of the late Michael John Kidger, an innovative lens designer, design software developer, and educator whose intensive, short courses combined optics theory with practice. Schmid's adviser, Jannick Rolland, professor of optics at CREOL, accepted the award on his behalf at the SPIE Europe Optical Systems Design Symposium in Glasgow, Scotland, 2 September. (See photo)
Schmid's research centers on the aberration theory of tilted and decentered systems, known as Nodal Aberration Theory, and its application to the alignment of optical instruments. He has been working with Rolland and Kevin Thompson, vice president of Optical Engineering Services at Optical Research Associates. The research group is focused on space telescope alignment and on understanding the aberrations of a James-Webb-like telescope and the associated instruments that contain three-mirror anastigmat, fully unobscured, all-reflective, optical subsystems.
Unlike the Hubble Space Telescope, there is no means to fix the alignment of the James Webb Space Telescope after it is launched and deployed, so everything must be precise before it leaves the Earth. Schmid aims to develop efficient and robust alignment strategies that build on knowledge and insight provided by Nodal Aberration Theory.
Schmid has been involved with the CREOL Association of Optics Students (CAOS) for photonics education outreach. The student group strives to promote interaction among members of SPIE and other organizations such as the IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society, the Optical Society of America, and the Society for Information Display.
For more information about the scholarship and application requirements for the 2009 award, visit the Kidger Optics Web site, www.kidger.com