Roger A. Lessard

In Memoriam: Roger A. Lessard

February 26, 2007

OSA Mourns the Loss of Roger A. Lessard

Roger A. Lessard passed away on February 26, 2007 in Quebec City, Canada. He obtained a bachelor's degree in science from the Université of Moncton, NB and in physics from Université Laval. In 1973, he graduated with a DSc in physics and optics from Université Laval where he spent most of his career as a researcher and professor.

Dr. Lessard, an OSA Fellow, was Director of the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Optics at Université Laval. A tireless builder, he founded the Centre for Optics, Photonics and Lasers in 1989. He is also co-founder of Holospectra (which became Lasiris and now StockerYale) and Laser InSpeck (now InSpeck). He sat on the Board of Directors of Gentec Electro-Optics and the Société du Centre des Congrès de Québec. He was a member of the scientific committee of Molex, a company located in Chicago, and acted as a consultant to numerous start-ups and established businesses throughout Canada.

He left his mark for his commitment to the Canadian Association of Physicists and as the founder of the annual Photonics North Conference. Recognized for the excellence of his research and training, he was an invited professor at the Imperial College of Sciences and Technology in London, Tianjin University in China, the Institute of Sciences in India and the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

He was named Ambassador of the Year for Quebec City in 1996 having organized several international scientific conferences. In 1998, the Quebec Tourism Board also named him Ambassador of the Year. He received an honorary doctoral degree from the Université Blaise-Pascal in France for his contributions to holography and to the development of optical materials. The Quebec Association for Industrial Research gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the field of optics in the greater Quebec region. In May 2002, he was named Knights of the National Order of Quebec for his dedication to the development of optics in Quebec and internationally.