In Memoriam: Kevin P. (Rolland-) Thompson, 1954-2015
November 20, 2015
Kevin P. (Rolland-) Thompson, Ph.D., an OSA Fellow and active OSA member having served as a conference speaker and committee member, passed away on 20 November 2015. Thompson was the Group Director, Research and Development/Optics at Synopsys, Inc. Thompson was known for leading breakthroughs in the understanding of the aberration fields of a new class of truly nonsymmetric optical systems using freeform optical surfaces.
Thompson received his Ph.D. in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona, College of Optical Sciences in 1980, where he worked with Professor Roland V. Shack on optical aberrations for optical systems without symmetry. Thompson’s undergraduate work was done at the University of Minnesota, Institute of Technology in the areas of astrophysics and physics.
Thompson was an active OSA volunteer having served as the Co-Chairman of the OSA Topical Meeting on Freeform Optics, and as a member of the OSA Fellows Selection Committee and of the Board of Meetings. He also served as Co-Chairman on the OSA Freeform Optics Incubator, as a Topical Editor of JOSA A, Geometrical Optics, and Chairman of the Optical Design Technical Group. He was a member of AAAS, IEEE, SAE, SID, and was an SPIE Fellow.
Most recently he was presented the 2015 Alumnus of the Year in Optical Sciences award by the University of Arizona in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of optical sciences and engineering, particularly in optical systems development. Thompson also received The Conrady Award for contributions to Optical Aberration Theory in 2013 from SPIE.Thompson was widely published and held three US patents.
Thompson is survived by his wife and fellow researcher, Jannick Rolland, and will be deeply missed by the community.
Tributes to Kevin Rolland-Thompson
“Very sad to hear this news. Kevin was a driving force in the OSA meetings portfolio. The focus, consideration and true commitment he displayed for his colleagues, his volunteer efforts and his Society was remarkable. I will miss seeing Kevin walking down the halls at meetings, wearing his hat and sunglasses, surrounded by people…smiling like he was having the time of his life.”
Chad Stark, OSA Deputy Executive Director/Chief Meetings Officer
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