4 October 2019

Elsa M. Garmire Named 2019 Honorary Member of The Optical Society

WASHINGTON—The Optical Society (OSA) has named Dr. Elsa M. Garmire, Sydney E. Junkins 1887 Professor Emeritus of Engineering at Dartmouth College, U.S.A., its 2019 Honorary Member. Honorary Membership is the most distinguished of all OSA Member categories and is awarded to individuals who have made seminal contributions to the field of optics.

Garmire is honored for her contributions to nonlinear optics and optoelectronics, leadership in linking science and public policy, and for service to OSA.

Caption: Dr. Elsa Garmire, OSA 2019 Honorary Member

Credit: OSA

 “The contributions of Dr. Garmire to both the field of optics and OSA are exemplary of the high level of service that characterize Honorary Members,” said 2019 OSA President Ursula Gibson. “It is an honor to recognize her many achievements.”

Honorary Members are elected by unanimous vote of the OSA Board of Directors upon nomination by the OSA Presidential Advisory Committee and a unanimous vote by the OSA Awards Council.

“This honor is especially important to me because it recognizes that pioneering contributions can be made in many different ways,” said Garmire. “While some follow a single passion throughout their career, I chose to direct my energy to those areas where I saw the greatest need. I’m very pleased that OSA appreciates the value of broad service to our field and community.”

Garmire received a bachelor’s degree from Radcliffe College at Harvard University, U.S.A, and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), U.S.A., both in physics. After post-doctoral work at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), U.S.A., she spent 20 years at the University of Southern California, U.S.A., where she was named the William Hogue Professor of Electrical Engineering and director of the Center for Laser Studies. Garmire joined the faculty at Dartmouth College in 1995, where she served two years as dean of the Thayer School of Engineering. She retired in 2016.

In her field of quantum electronics, lasers and optics, Garmire has authored more than 250 journal papers, obtained nine patents, and has been on the editorial board of five technical journals. She has supervised 30 doctoral theses and 14 masters’ degree theses. Garmire was advisor to the Bureau of Economics, Energy and Business under the U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy. Additionally, Garmire participated in conferences and workshops, and presented a series of seminars to teach the technology of telecommunications to U.S. officers with the goal of establishing a strong knowledge and resource base for information and communications technologies within the U.S. Department of State.

Garmire is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, serving until recently on its governing council, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She served as the 1993 OSA President, and is a Fellow of OSA, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and the American Physical Society. In 1994, she received the Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award. She has been a Fulbright senior lecturer and a visiting faculty member in Japan, Australia, Germany and China. She chaired the U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advisory Committee on Emerging Technology and served on both the NSF Advisory Committee on Engineering and the U.S. Air Force Science Advisory Board.


About The Optical Society

Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit osa.org.

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