National Academy of Engineering Regional Meeting: Past, Present and Future Explorations of Astronomy, Optics and Large Telescopes

    National Academy of Engineering Regional Meeting: Past, Present and Future Explorations of Astronomy, Optics and Large Telescopes
    Monday, May 20, 2013 - 12:30pm - 6:00pm
    Meinel 307

    Please RSVP to or 520-626-6959.

    Auxiliary Material(s): 

    The University of Arizona has long been known for its optics, astronomy, and lunar and planetary sciences programs. On May 20,  a 2013 National Academy of Engineering Regional Meeting will be held at the Meinel Building at the UA College of Optical Sciences, where a series of presentations will highlight some past, present and future research projects on space exploration, astronomy and large telescopes.

    The program commences with Dante S. Lauretta describing the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft mission, which will travel to a near-Earth asteroid to inspect its texture, morphology and spectral properties and retrieve a sample of its carbonaceous surface. Then recent MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” winner Olivier Guyon will discuss his work discovering potentially habitable worlds around other stars, and Buell T. Jannuzi will chronicle the large telescopes designed and constructed at the University. Finally, Jim H. Burge will talk about the next generation of ground-based telescopes, and J. Roger P. Angel will detail how some of the design and mirror fabrication techniques that were learned making large telescopes can help reduce the costs of solar power.

    A tour of the UA Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory — where a team of scientists and engineers produce giant, lightweight mirrors with diameters up to 8.4 meters for a new generation of optical and infrared telescopes — will be available following the lectures.

    Speaker Bio(s): 

    J. Roger P. Angel is Regents' Professor of Astronomy and Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona, where he directs the Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society, a former MacArthur Fellow and co-recipient of the 2010 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics. He founded REhnu Corp. and currently serves as its chief technology officer.

    Angel developed concepts and technology for some of the world's most powerful astronomical telescopes, including the Large Binocular Telescope and the Giant Magellan Telescope. Today he works on novel ways to harvest solar energy: focusing sunlight onto small but powerful photovoltaic cells, and also onto thermal receivers to heat liquid to be stored for nighttime generation. Both approaches are designed to use mass-produced, self-supporting glass mirrors. In combination they promise 24/7 solar electricity at a cost competitive with that of fossil fuels.

    Jim H. Burge is professor of optical sciences and astronomy at the University of Arizona. He serves as principal investigator and technical lead for projects that develop and implement advanced technologies for building and testing large optical systems and telescope mirrors, as well as ground- and space-based telescopes. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE and the 2011 recipient of OSA's Fraunhofer Award/Burley Prize, which recognizes “significant accomplishments in the field of optical engineering." As co-chair of its product integrity committee, Burge is responsible for overseeing NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. He also serves as deputy editor for the high-impact journal Optics Express.

    Burge is the chief technology officer for Arizona Optical Systems LLC, where he provides leadership and technical expertise for the manufacture of high-performance optical components and systems, and the president of Arizona Optical Metrology LLC, which focuses on computer-generated holograms and custom metrology solutions.

    Olivier Guyon, an optical physicist and astronomer, holds a joint appointment as assistant professor at the Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory and the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona. He is also an associate member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Victoria (Canada) and a project scientist at the Subaru Telescope operated by the National Observatory of Japan in Hawaii.

    Guyon graduated from Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University (France) in 2002. In 2003, he received the Daniel Guinier Award from the French Society of Physics, and in 2006 was granted a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the U.S. government — its highest award for promising young researchers. In 2012 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. Guyon uses his expertise in optics to design telescopes that investigate some of the most compelling issues in contemporary astronomy, particularly the search for Earth-like planets outside the solar system.

    Buell T. Jannuzi became the seventh director of the Steward Observatory in May 2012 when he succeeded Peter A. Strittmatter as head of the world-leading UA astronomy department. Jannuzi served as director of the Kitt Peak National Observatory and the associate director of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory during his 17-year tenure on NOAO's scientific staff.

    Jannuzi earned undergraduate and doctoral degrees at Harvard University and the University of Arizona, respectively, before spending five years as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. In 1993, he was recognized as a future leader in the field of astronomy with NASA's prestigious Hubble Fellowship. He has served on the boards of directors or science advisory committees of numerous major ground-based and space observatories, including the Gemini Observatory, Spitzer Space Telescope, Fermi Space Telescope, Large Binocular Telescope, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and Giant Magellan Telescope. He was also president of the board of directors of the International Dark Sky Association.

    Dante S. Lauretta is a professor in the UA Department of Planetary Sciences and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. He is an internationally recognized expert in near-Earth asteroid formation and evolution and the principal investigator of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission, which plans to visit one of the most potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids, assess its impact hazard, survey its resource potential and physical and chemical properties, and return a sample of this body to Earth for detailed scientific analysis.

    OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to launch in 2016; it will rendezvous with asteroid 1999 RQ36 in 2018. The sample is due to return to Earth in 2023.

    Host Bio(s):
    James C. Wyant
    , site host, is professor emeritus of optical sciences and electrical and computer engineering and past dean of the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona. He received a B.S. degree in physics in 1965 from the Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University) and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in optics from the University of Rochester in 1967 and 1968. Wyant, a former editor-in-chief of the OSA journal Applied Optics, was the 1986 president of SPIE and the 2010 president of OSA.

    Thomas L. Koch, co-host, is dean of the UA College of Optical Sciences and professor of optical sciences and electrical and computer engineering. He previously held the Daniel E. ’39 and Patricia M. Smith Chair at Lehigh University, where he served as director of the Center for Optical Technologies. Prior to his time in academia, he spent many years in research at Bell Laboratories and also filled research and development vice presidential roles at SDL Inc., Lucent Technologies and Agere Systems. Koch received his A.B. in physics in 1977 from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in applied physics in 1982 from the California Institute of Technology.

    C. Dan Mote Jr., NAE host, is a University System of Maryland Regents Professor, past president of the University of Maryland, College Park, and president-elect of the National Academy of Engineering. Mote received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where he sat on the faculty for 31 years and served as chair of the department of mechanical engineering, president of the University of California, Berkeley, Foundation, and vice chancellor of university relations. He has received three honorary doctorates and the Berkeley Citation, similar to an honorary doctorate.

    Travel and Lodging: 

    Directions & Parking:
    The College of Optical Sciences has prepared Web pages with frequently requested directions and parking instructions.

    Inquire about the University of Arizona rate.

    Photo Credit:
    Giant Magellan Telescope — GMTO Corp.

    12:30 p.m.

    Registration and Mirror Lab Tour Sign-up
    Third-Floor Lobby

    1-1:15 p.m.

    Welcome & Introduction
    Meinel 307

    James C. Wyant, Site Host
    UA Professor Emeritus of Optical Sciences and Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Thomas L. Koch, Co-Host
    Dean of the College of Optical Sciences and UA Professor of Optical Sciences and Electrical and Computer Engineering
    C. Dan Mote Jr., Host
    President-Elect of the National Academy of Engineering

    1:15 p.m.-1:40 p.m.

    "OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission: Exploring Our Past and Securing Our Future"
    Meinel 307

    Dante S. Lauretta
    UA Professor of Lunar and Planetary Sciences

    1:45-2:10 p.m.

    "Optics Tricks to Find and Study Habitable Worlds Around Other Stars"
    Meinel 307

    Olivier Guyon
    UA Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Optical Sciences

    2:15-2:40 p.m.

    "Faster, Cheaper, Better: Telescope Design and Construction at UA"
    Meinel 307

    Buell T. Jannuzi
    Head of the UA Department of Astronomy and Director of the UA Steward Observatory

    2:45-3:05 p.m.

    Third-Floor Lobby

    3:10-3:40 p.m.

    "Next-Generation Ground-Based Telescopes"
    Meinel 307

    Jim H. Burge
    UA Professor of Optical Sciences and Astronomy

    3:45-4:10 p.m.

    "Optics for Cheap Solar Power"
    Meinel 307

    J. Roger P. Angel
    UA Regents' Professor of Astronomy and Optical Sciences

    4:15-4:30 p.m. Mirror Lab Pre-Tour Video
    Meinel 307
    4:30-5:45 p.m.

    Reception and Mirror Lab Tour
    Third-Floor Lobby

    Tour Group Schedule
    Staggered departures and pre-registration required.

    • Group I (4:30-5:15 p.m.)
    • Group II (4:50-5:30 p.m.)
    • Group III (5:10-5:45 p.m.)


    NAE Members Only

    RSVP required.

    6 p.m.

    Business Meeting and Reception Welcome Remarks
    Franken Conference Room (Meinel 821)

    C. Dan Mote Jr.
    President-Elect of the National Academy of Engineering

    7 p.m. Dinner
    Meinel Eighth-Floor Breakout Area