Anthony E. Siegman

Anthony E. Siegman

Anthony Siegman1999 OSA President Anthony E. Siegman, a widely known expert on lasers and optics, was born in Detroit, Michigan, US in 1931. He received an A.B. degree summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1952, an M.S. in Applied Physics from UCLA in 1954, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1957. He was appointed to the Stanford Electrical Engineering faculty in 1956, and retired from the McMurtry Professorship of Engineering at Stanford in November 1998 after more than four decades as a faculty member in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics.

Immediately following his retirement he served as president of the Optical Society for 1999-2000. After his retirement, he engaged in technical writing and consulting and served as an expert witness in intellectual property and other litigation, as well as serving on advisory boards for a number of laser and fiber optic startup companies.

During his career, Professor Siegman made many research contributions in microwave and quantum electronics, laser physics and devices, and laser applications and optics, including supervising some 40 PhD dissertations and publishing approximately 250 scientific articles. He wrote three texts on masers and lasers including the widely used reference and textbook LASERS (University Science Books, 1986). He was Director of the Edward L. Ginzton Laboratory at Stanford from 1978 to 1983, and spent sabbatical periods as Visiting Professor of Applied Physics at Harvard in 1965, Guggenheim Fellow at the IBM Research Labs in Zurich in 1969-70, and Humboldt Senior Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany, in 1984-85. 

He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 1973 and the National Academy of Sciences in 1988.  He also received the R. W. Wood Prize and the Frederic Ives Medal of the The Optical Society for overall excellence in optics in 1980 and 1987; the Quantum Electronics Award of IEEE LEOS in 1989; and the Arthur L. Schawlow Medal of the Laser Institute of America in 1991. In 1999 he served as The Optical Society's President and was an active member of the OSA Foundation's Board of Directors from 2003-2008. During his career he also consulted for numerous companies and government agencies, and was a member of the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board from 1974 to 1980.

The Siegman International School on Lasers was established in his name. This program is co-founded by IPG Photonics and endowed by OSA Foundation donors from around the world.  The school invites up to 100 graduate students for a week-long program to learn from pioneering laser researchers and experts from leading laser companies, highly-regarded professors and fellow students. 


In celebration of OSA's Centennial Anniversary in 2016, Siegman was honored with one of the tiles that highlighted 100 iconic images representing OSA and the world of optics and photonics.Anthony Siegman died on 7 October 2011.

To see more on Anthony Siegman watch his OSA History Interview.