Distinguished Jennifer Ricklin

Minorities and Women in OSA

Meet this female fellow

Jennifer C. Ricklin

Georgia Tech Research Institute, USA
OSA Member since: 2011
OSA Fellow since: 2014

Professional/Personal Highlights: 

Dr. Ricklin currently serves as the Principal Research Engineer at Georgia Tech Research Institute.
Dr. Ricklin began her career with the Army Research Laboratory, where she held both bench scientist and management positions. Subsequently she served as Program Manager with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Director for Strategic Technologies with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, and Chief Technologist for the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Dr. Ricklin is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and SPIE - the International Society for Optical Engineering. She served on the SPIE Board of Directors, and is a Senior Member of IEEE. She was a member of the Air Force Science Advisory Board, chaired over 25 international conferences and workshops, served as Associate Editor for the journal Optical Engineering for eight years, and has co-authored one book and over 100 papers and patents.

What is your advice for balancing one’s professional and personal life?

It IS possible to “have it all” in terms of both a rich professional and personal life – but difficult to “do it all” at the same time. Your children need YOU. Your spouse needs YOU. You need time to relax and enjoy your family, friends and hobbies. So consider staging your career. When children are very young and early teens, they need you more than at other times. Redefine your career goals to accommodate this – it’s actually only about a quarter of your 40-year career span.

Do you have suggestions for how female scientists can support each other’s careers and development?

Ideally, support should be gender-neutral. Having a strong network of colleagues, friends and mentors of both genders is important for a successful and rewarding career.

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