Roland V. Shack Graduate Student Endowed Scholarship in Optical Sciences

In 1964, eminent engineer, inventor and educator Roland V. Shack joined the University of Arizona Optical Sciences Center as one of its very first faculty members. Prior to commencing his professorship, Dr. Shack worked at the National Bureau of Standards and The Perkin-Elmer Corporation in the United States. He earned his Ph.D. at Imperial College, University of London.  

Dr. Shack is world renown, as underscored by the highest acclamations and honors in optical sciences, is due to his contributions to optical design and testing, interference and diffraction, image formation and evaluation, and light scattering, among other topics. He designed the Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor and the Shack cube interferometer and, in his 38 years in the classroom, imparted the principles of optics to several generations of engineers. As a scholar and instructor, Roland Shack was well regarded for the unique way he combined science, art and engineering — yet his longest-lasting legacy may be his sincere interest in his students.

This award is made possible by Roland’s family, friends, colleagues and students, in gratitude and respect for this extraordinary man. Leading donors to this scholarship are Kevin and Jannick Rolland Thompson, John and Dana Rogers, Jack and Tanya Jewell and Phillip Lam.


The Roland V. Shack Scholarship is available to first-year graduate students with an undergraduate degree in the physical or biological sciences, optics, engineering, mathematics, computer science or related fields and a GPA of 3.7 or better on a 4.0 scale. Preference is given to students with research interests in geometrical and classical optics.


FoTO Scholarship

2021-2022: Shengtai Zhu
2020-2021: Shaobai Li
2019-2020: Jing Wu
2018-2019: Zhihan Hong
2017-2018: Kira Ann Hart
2016-2017: Shauna LeFebvre
2015-2016: Benjamin Cromey



2014-2015: Roopa Gowda
2013-2014: Ivan McCrea

For questions about this scholarship or to make a donation, please contact Kaye Rowan, director of development, at or 520-626-8754.