OSA | Living History

William G. Fastie

OSA Awards & Distinctions



William G Fastie was born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA in 1919. He attended Johns Hopkins University from 1934 to 1941, but did not earn a degree. However, during World War II he worked there as a research assistant. From 1945 to 1951, he was a researcher at Leeds and Northrup Co, returning to Hopkins afterwards.

Fastie is best known for inventing a new type of spectrometer, which has been sent into space numerous times. His work at Hopkins eventually led to the astronomy program that is still at the university today. He became involved with the Hubble Space Telescope working group in the 1970s through an appointment from NASA. Fastie retired in 1982, but continued to work on his projects at Hopkins and on the Hubble Space Telescope until 1997.

Fastie received many awards for his work, including OSA’s David Richardson Medal in 1972. He was part of OSA’s First Fellows Class in 1959.

He passed away in 2000.



Document Created: 17 Sep 2020
Last Updated: 17 Sep 2020