OSA's Engineering Excellence Award Renamed in Honor of Paul F. Forman



Angela Stark

OSA's Engineering Excellence Award Renamed in Honor of Paul F. Forman

Paul FormanWASHINGTON, Nov. 30 – The Optical Society of America (OSA) Foundation is pleased to announce the renaming of OSA's Engineering Excellence Award to the Paul F. Forman Engineering Excellence Award. The new name honors the contributions to optical engineering by the late Paul Forman, co-founder of Zygo Corporation and OSA fellow. The award is also being expanded to include a financial stipend, made possible by a $50,000 pledge from Zygo Corporation. The OSA Foundation will also launch a fundraising campaign in support of the award.

"The OSA Foundation is honored to support a campaign to build an endowment in Paul's memory," said Gary Bjorklund, OSA Foundation Board chair.

Forman, who passed away Nov. 17, received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Rochester in 1956. After graduation, he began work as an optical engineer at Perkin Elmer. While there, he worked with Carl Zanoni and Sol Laufer, with whom, in 1970, he co-founded Zygo Corporation, a company that manufactures and distributes high-end optical systems and components for metrology and end-user applications. He remained at Zygo until his retirement in 1993 and served as chairman emeritus thereafter.

Throughout his career Forman was the recipient of many awards, including OSA's Edwin H. Land Medal for pioneering entrepreneurial creativity that has had a major public impact, NASA’s Apollo Achievement Award for the retroreflector array used on the first lunar landing and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Precision Engineering. He was an active member of OSA for 52 years and served the Society in several capacities, including two terms on the OSA Board of Directors, first as Science and Engineering Council chair in 1990-1991 and again as Director at Large from 1997-1999. He also organized one of OSA’s initial cultivation events, which in part lead to the creation of the OSA Foundation.

"Paul's contributions to the field of optical engineering – in both the research and business arenas – spanned more than 50 years," said Thomas Baer, OSA vice president. "It is our honor to recognize his legacy of industry achievements and his instrumental role in the establishment of this award by naming it after him."

Championing the development of the Engineering Excellence Award during his tenure as chair of the OSA Science and Engineering Council, Forman was a voice for the optical engineering community. With his support, the Engineering Excellence Award was established in 1989 to increase the visibility of optical engineers. This annual award recognizes technical achievements in optical engineering by an individual or team. Nominations are solicited in: products, engineering publication, process, software, patents, engineering education, contributions to society, engineering management and furthering public appreciation of optical engineering. The award is presented each fall during the OSA Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics. A list of past awardees can be found at: www.osa.org/awards_and_grants/.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A high-resolution photo of Paul Forman is available upon request. Contact Angela Stark, astark@osa.org or 202.416.1443.

About the OSA Foundation
The OSA Foundation was established in 2002 to support philanthropic activities that help further the Optical Society of America’s mission by concentrating its efforts on programs that advance youth science education, provide optics and photonics education to underserved populations, provide career and professional development resources  and support OSA's Awards and Honors program.The grants funded by the OSA Foundation are made possible by the generous donations of its supporters as well as the dollar-for-dollar match by OSA. The Foundation is exempt from US federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is a public charity. To learn more about the OSA Foundation or to find out how to donate, please visit www.osa-foundation.org or email foundation@osa.org.

The OSA Foundation is accepting donations in memory of Paul F. Forman to support the endowment of the Paul F. Forman Engineering Excellence Award. To make a donation online please click here and select “Annual Campaign and/or Award/Medal Endowments”. If you would prefer to receive a donation form by mail or fax please email foundation@osa.org.

About OSA
Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society of America (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org.