2001 OSA President Richard C. Powell did his undergraduate work at the U.S. Naval Academy and his graduate work at the Arizona State University, earning a Ph.D. in 1967.
In the early part of his career, Powell worked as a staff scientist at the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories and Sandia National Laboratory. His teaching career took him to California Institute of Technology, Oklahoma State University and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Instituto de Fisica. In 1992 Powell joined the University of Arizona and remains there as professor emeritus, optical sciences.
Powell’s research interests include doped crystals and glasses, energy transfer, charge transport, vibronic spectra and radiationless processes; development of four-wave mixing and multiphoton pico-second spectroscopy techniques; characterization of crystals and glasses for lasers, nonlinear optics and photorefractive applications; applications of sold state lasers in medicine and industry.
Powell is a fellow of APS and OSA and co-founded Lite Cycles, Inc. He has earned numerous awards including the University of Arizona Technology Innovation Award in 2005.
Powell continues to be active with OSA and currently serves on its Presidential Advisory Committee
Right now, since I've been retired for 10 years, when I first retired I continued doing a lot of writing, a couple of textbooks, and teaching some classes, and doing a lot of consulting. But little by little, that faded away. And what I'm really doing now is giving public lectures on science, which I have come to enjoy very much. Tucson is an area where there are a lot of retired communities, and the retirement people have these lifelong learning institutes, so they're always looking for speakers. And it's fun to talk about lasers and astrophotography, and science and religion, and all these different topics.