Robert L. Byer

Robert L. Byer

1994 OSA President Robert L. Byer has conducted research and taught classes in lasers and nonlinear optics at Stanford University since 1969.  He has made major contributions to laser science and technology including the demonstration of the first tunable visible parametric oscillator, the development of the Q-switched unstable resonator Nd:YAG laser, remote sensing using tunable infrared sources and precision spectroscopy using Coherent Anti Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS). Byer’s ongoing research includes development of nonlinear optical materials and laser diode pumped solid-state laser sources for applications to gravitational wave detection and to laser particle acceleration.

Currently the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Applied Physics, Byer has served as vice provost and dean of research at Stanford as well as chair of the Department of Applied Physics, director of the Edward L. Ginzton Laboratory and Director of the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory.  He is a founding member of the California Council on Science and Technology and served as chair from 1995-1999.  He has been a member of the National Ignition Facility since 2000 and was a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board from 2002-2006.

Byer has published more than 500 papers and holds 50 patents in the fields of lasers and nonlinear optics. For his work Byer has received numerous awards including the IEEE LEOS Quantum Electronics Award, OSA’s Ives Medal, R. W. Wood Prize, LIA’s Schawlow Award, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, and the IEEE Photonics Award.

He has actively participated in many professional organizations including OSA, AIP and IEEE LEOS where he served as president. He is a fellow of OSA, IEEE, APS, AAAS, and LEOS and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Science.

Byer was an instrumental co-chair of OSA's Centennial Advisory Committee which was charged with planning OSA's 100th Anniversary in 2016.  Currently he serves on OSA’s Presidential Advisory Committee.


For more on Robert Byer watch his OSA History Interview.