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OSA | Living History

James C. Wyant

OSA Awards & Distinctions

2010 OSA President James C. Wyant was the founding dean of the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona, US.  He received an M.S. and Ph. D from the University of Rochester in 1968 and 1969, respectively. His research has focused on applying interferometry to metrology problems in a number of fields including data storage, semiconductors, optical fabrication, and biomedicine. He is the author of more than 300 written publications and invited talks on interferometry, holography and optical testing and he has been the major advisor of 30 graduated Ph.D. students and 25+ M.S. students.

In addition to his academic leadership, Wyant is known as an entrepreneur in the field. He has significant expertise in launching and growing industry corporations, having co-founded WYKO Corporation, 4D Technology and DMetrix. Wyant has been a member of the board of directors for several organizations, including WYKO, ILX Lightwave, Veeco Instruments, Optics 1, DMetrix and 4D Technology. His business acumen has earned him industry accolades, including the University of Arizona College of Business and Public Administration Entrepreneurial Fellowship, Arizona’s “Innovator of the Year” Product Award, the Tom Brown Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award and the University of Arizona Technology Innovation Award.

With a breadth of experience in volunteer roles at OSA, Wyant has been an active participant in the society's programs over the years. Wyant has held numerous oversight positions for OSA publications including editor-in-chief of Applied Optics, member on the Optics Letters Advisory Panel, associate and topical editor for both JOSA and Applied Optics, and associate editor of Optics Express. He also has had significant experience with the society's leadership, awards and prominent meetings, serving as a member of the OSA Board of Directors and its Executive Committee, chair of the society's Long-Range Planning Committee, chair of the Fraunhofer Award Committee and member of the CLEO Optical Metrology Committee, among numerous other positions.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Wyant also has been recognized for his technical work with awards, including the OSA Joseph Fraunhofer Award in 1992 for pioneering work in the development of optical testing technology the SPIE Gold Medal and the SPIE Technology Achievement Award. He is a five-time recipient of R&D Magazine's R&D 100 Award, as well as a five-time recipient of Laurin Publishing's Photonics Circle of Excellence Award for optical products. He also was honored by the University of Rochester’s College of Engineering as a distinguished alumnus.

Wyant was an instrumental co-chair of OSA's Centennial Advisory Committee which was charged with planning OSA's 100th Anniversary in 2016.  He is currently an active member of OSA's Presidential Advisory Committee.


Interview with 2010 OSA President James C Wyant

8 June 2018

Oral History Project Interview with James Wyant conducted by Adrian Kinnane on 10 February 2012

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Interview with 2010 OSA President James C Wyant

Interview with 2010 OSA President James C Wyant

8 June 2018

Oral History Project Interview with James Wyant...

Document Created: 12 Jun 2013
Last Updated: 2 Jul 2019