In Memoriam: Benedetto Daino
Benedetto Daino, one of the principal scientists responsible for advancing optical communications in Italy and an OSA member since 1972, died on 12 January 2011 in Palermo, Italy, at the age of 75.
Prof. Daino graduated from the University of Palermo in Electrical Engineering in 1960 and earned his PhD in 1971 (the Italian "Libera Docenza"). He was a Visiting Researcher at Stanford University in 1965. In 1961, he began setting up an Optics Research Division at the Rome-based Fondazione Ugo Bordoni, a non-profit organization for the development of telecommunications, hosted at the time by the Italian Postal Office Laboratories. Focusing his research efforts on the growing laser revolution of the 1960s, he fostered a whole generation of optical scientists who now form a substantial portion of the backbone of Italian research in laser physics and optical communications. Bringing together physicists and electrical engineers, speculative and applications-oriented minds, he contributed in no small manner to the considerable scientific and technological optics achievements of the late 1990s. Prof. Daino’s major achievements, frequently ahead of his time, were in the areas of in lasers, optical fibers, coherence theory, and nonlinear optics.
Benedetto Daino was a warm and friendly person, a true gentleman as perhaps only his Sicilian motherland could breed. Some of his closest collaborators knew him as “Il Gattopardo” ("The Leopard"), evoking the astronomer and prince of Lampedusa in the famous novel by Tomasi di Lampedusa.
Enticed by new ideas, he made it his priority to support young scientists who were testing their vision. We are the living testimony of his legacy. He will be sorely missed.
Daino is survived by his wife, Miranda, and three sons, Stefano, Giorgio and Alessandro.
Obituary submitted by Prof. Daino’s colleagues Bruno Crosignani and Eugenio DelRe.
If you would like to make a donation to the OSA Foundation in memory of Prof. Daino, please visit www.osa-foundation.org/give.