Rochford, Kent B.

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Dr. Kent B. Rochford

Regular Member

Area of Expertise: Optical communications, Optical sensors, Optical metrology
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Currently serving as the CEO and Executive Director of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. SPIE partners with researchers, educators, and industry to advance light-based research and technologies for the betterment of the human condition. I am truly excited to be leading a wonderful and inclusive organization, to focus is on supporting our broad constituency, and to enable information sharing through meetings and publications to advance our field.

Previously, I was associate director for Laboratory Programs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), managing all the technical activities at NIST, and served as acting NIST Director in 2017. Most of my NIST career was in Boulder, starting as a postdoc in 1992 eventually serving as chief of the NIST Optoelectronics Division. Later, I was the director of the NIST Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory, the director for NIST’s Boulder Laboratories, and I established NIST's Communication Technology Laboratory (CTL). In between NIST positions, I managed the engineering department of an optical communications startup and the materials and devices R&D for a multinational corporation. I hold a PhD in optical sciences from the University of Arizona, a BS in electrical engineering from Arizona State University, and an MBA from the University of Colorado. I am a Member of the Board for Photonics21, a Fellow of OSA, Senior member of IEEE, and a Lifetime Member of SPIE.

On a more personal note, I enjoy playing the drums, travel with my family, and taking advantage of the Pacific Northwest’s outdoors-focused lifestyle.
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