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Obituaries

Obituaries

OSA mourns the passing of these distinguished colleagues.

H. Angus Macleod, 1934-2021

April 29, 2021

H. Angus MacLeod, OSA Fellow and recipient of the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal, passed away on 29 April 2021, at the age of 87. Macleod was a renowned researcher, having made significant contributions in the area of thin film optical filters and optical coatings. He was best known for Thin-Film Optical Filters, an introduction to thin-film optical filters for both manufacturers and users, now in...

Isamu Akasaki, 1929-2021

April 01, 2021

Isamu Akasaki, Nobel Laureate and Professor Emeritus at Nagoya University, passed away on 1 April 2021 at the age of 92. Akasaki was a brilliant researcher who received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014 for his contributions to the development of blue light-emitting diodes, which led to the production of LEDs. Akasaki shared the Nobel Prize with Hiroshio Amano of Japan and Shuji Nakamura of th...

Martin Shenker, 1929-2021

March 31, 2021

Martin Shenker, OSA Fellow and OSA Emeritus Member, passed away on 31 March at the age of 92. Shenker had an extensive career in optical systems design and held several patents related to his research. Shenker was made an OSA Fellow in 1978. He was known for his work on the simulators of the Lunar Excursion Module, the optics used in night vision devices, and was considered a pioneer in the dev...

F. Tito Arecchi V, 1933-2021

February 15, 2021

F. Tito Arecchi V, OSA Fellow and recipient of the Max Born Award, passed away on 15 February 2021 at the age of 87. Arecchi was known for his research in the cooperative effects in quantum optics, photon statistics and laser fluctuations, deterministic chaos in optics, pattern formation in extended media, and complex phenomena and cognitive processes.  He received the Max Born Award in 19...

Amyand David Buckingham CBE, FRS, 1930-2021

February 04, 2021

A. David Buckingham, OSA Fellow and 2001 recipient of the Charles Hard Townes Medal, passed away on 4 February 2021 at the age of 91. Buckingham was formerly a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. He was known for his research in the area of chemical physics and specifically, the measurement and understanding of the electric, magnetic and optical properties of ...

Robert W. Hellwarth, 1930-2021

January 20, 2021

Robert “Bob” W. Hellwarth, OSA Fellow and recipient of the Charles Hard Townes Award, has passed away at the age of 90. Hellwarth was a renowned researcher, having made significant contributions in the area of nonlinear optical devices. He was best known for inventing and demonstrating "Q-switching," a contribution that led to the field of high-power lasers. Hellwarth&rsqu...

Vittorio Degiorgio, 1939-2021

January 17, 2021

Vittorio Degiorgio, OSA Fellow and Professor Emeritus at the University of Pavia, Italy, passed away on 17 January 2021 at the age of 82. Degiorgio was a brilliant researcher who inspired a passion for photonics in his students, and a mentor to countless scientists during his 30-year career at the University of Pavia. His research interests included statistical properties of laser radiation, la...

Thomas I. Harris, 1930-2021

January 16, 2021

Thomas I. Harris, OSA Fellow and founder of Optical Research Associates, passed away on 16 January 2021 at the age of 90. Harris founded Optical Research Associates (ORA) in 1963 and served as ORA CEO and Chief Scientist until his retirement in 2000. ORA would go on to become a leading provider of optical design software applications and engineering services for government, commercial, and cons...

Thomas J. McIlrath, 1938-2020

December 22, 2020

Thomas “Tom” J. McIlrath,  OSA Fellow and former Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park, MD, has passed away.  McIlrath was a Professor in the Institute for Physical Science and Technology at the University of Maryland at College Park and associate dean for research and graduate studies in the graduate school. McIlrath was also a staff member at the Nation...

Narinder S. Kapany, 1926-2020

December 04, 2020

Narinder S. Kapany, OSA Fellow and pioneer in the development of fiber optics, passed away on 4 December 2020 at the age of 94. Kapany was a physicist and entrepreneur who was known as the “Father of Fiber Optics” for his work to demonstrate the transmission of images through optical fiber bundles. Kapany collaborated with Professor Harold Hopkins at Imperial College London and thei...