2011 Alumnus of the Year: Kenneth E. Moore, Ph.D. 1991

Every spring, the colleges of the University of Arizona have the opportunity recognize an outstanding alumnus or alumna, who is then celebrated in the fall Homecoming festivities.

In 2011, the College of Optical Sciences honored Kenneth E. Moore, Ph.D. 1991, who revolutionized optical design software with Zemax, the most widely used program in the field.

Moore studied under professor George E. Lawrence at OSC, graduating with a Ph.D. in 1991 with a dissertation titled "Optimization in Physical Optics Analysis."

While completing his degree, he also worked on the first versions of the program that blossomed into Zemax. Upon graduating, he worked briefly for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory before leaving to found the Zemax Development Corp. in 1988. During his career, he has garnered numerous awards for his work in the industry, including the Optical Society's David Richardson Medal for contributions to technical optics. 

Twenty years later, Zemax is used around the world to design optical systems, and the Zemax Development Corp. has merged with Radiant Imaging Inc. with the aim of taking full advantage of the optics industry's long-term potential. Moore is looking toward retirement, when he plans to cultivate the field by establishing outreach programs across the U.S.

Ken and his wife, Michele, remain great friends OSC and the University. They have established the Kenneth E. and Michele L. Moore Endowed Scholarship in Optical Sciences to support the college's students, and they continue to find new ways to impact the world of optics through their generousity.

We gratefully acknowledge Kenneth E. Moore's contributions, not only in the College of Optical Sciences, but in the field of optical sciences, on which he has made an unforgettable impact.

For questions about our donors or to give to the college, please contact Kaye Rowan, director of development, at rowan@optics.arizona.edu or 520-626-8754.