2019 OSA President Ursula Gibson received a Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University in 1982. During her doctoral work she held a Bell Laboratories Graduate Research Program for Women grant, and spent two summers working at Bell Labs. After Cornell, she joined the faculty of the University of Arizona Optical Sciences Center, and was promoted to associate professor before moving to the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College in 1990. She currently holds a professorship in the Physics department at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), where she has been since 2010. She is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Applied Physics at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the Chemistry Department of Dartmouth College.
She has held visiting positions at the United States Air Force Academy, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Tampere University of Technology (Finland), Chalmers University (Sweden), and the University of Queensland (Australia), among others. She was a NASA/ASEE Visiting Research Fellow in 1997 and 1998 and participated in the 2001 National Academy of Engineering 'Frontiers in Engineering' program. She taught in the NASA “Journey through the Universe” outreach program in public schools and in 2004 was selected to be a member of the NASA Network of Educator Astronaut Teachers. In 2008, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, working at the VTT Research facility in Espoo, Finland. She has served as a consultant for many enterprises, including Kodak Inc., the US Department of Defense and the American University of Kuwait.
Gibson has been an active volunteer for OSA, serving on the Tellers Committee, the Lomb Medal and Newport Research Awards Committees, and as Chair of the Optical Materials and Thin Films Program and IT Committees. In 2002-2005 she was on the Board of Directors, and from 2011-2014 she served on the International Commission on Optics as the representative from OSA. Other professional activities include service on the Executive Committee of the Vacuum Society of America (Thin Films Division), as an organizer for Materials Society Symposia and on the Editorial Boards for journals such as the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology, NanoEthics, and Materials Characterization.
Her research on optical materials has been wide ranging, including polymers, protein crystals and semiconductors, with an emphasis on limited dimension structures such as thin films and waveguides. She holds three patents and has authored 7 book contributions and over 100 refereed journal articles with 2300 citations. Gibson’s present research is focused on semiconductor-core optical fibers and MBE-grown films for mid-infrared applications.
Inclusivity. Modern scientific research increasingly depends on diverse collaboration for success. This interdisciplinary, global exchange of knowledge must be broadly inclusive, seeking contributions from all sources, based solely on excellence. The Optical Society is, by its nature, diverse. We are committed to it also being inclusive, and we strive to provide an atmosphere in which all people feel valued and respected and have access to the same opportunities. We are a professional community in service to the greater human community.