James C. Wyant

  • Faculty Affiliation: Professor Emeritus
Professor Emeritus of Optical Sciences
Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Founding Dean of the College of Optical Sciences
Email Address: 
Curriculum Vitae: 
Office Location: 
Meinel 652
Mailing Address: 

College of Optical Sciences
The University of Arizona
1630 E. University Blvd.
P.O. Box 210094
Tucson, AZ 85721-0094

Phone Number: 
  • Ph.D., University of Rochester, 1968
  • M.S., University of Rochester, 1967
  • B.S., Case Institute of Technology, 1965
  • Board of Trustees: University of Rochester, 2012-present
    Board of Trustees: Case Western Reserve University, 2010-present
  • Dean: The University of Arizona, College of Optical Sciences, 2005-2012
  • Visiting Professor: Changchun University (China), 2005-2010
  • Board Chairman: 4D Technology Corp., 2002-date
  • Board Member: DMetrix, 2001-2011
  • Board Member: Optics 1, 1999-2008
  • Director: The University of Arizona, Optical Sciences Center, 1999-2005
  • Board Member: Veeco Instruments, 1997-1999
  • Board Member: ILX Lightwave, 1988-2012
  • Professor: The University of Arizona, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, 1985-present
  • President: WYKO Corp., 1984-1997
  • Visiting Professor: University of Rochester, Institute of Optics, 1983
  • Visiting Scientist: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Australia), 1983
  • Professor: The University of Arizona, Optical Sciences Center/College of Optical Sciences, 1979-present
  • Associate Professor: The University of Arizona, Optical Sciences Center, 1976-1979
  • Assistant Professor: The University of Arizona, Optical Sciences Center, 1974-1976
  • Manager: Itek Corp., Optical Engineering Section, 1974
  • Instructor of Mathematics and Physics: Lowell Technological Institute, 1970-1974
  • Optical Engineer: Itek Corp., 1968-1974
  • Lecturer of Physics: Lowell Technological Institute, 1969-1972
  • Research Assistant: University of Rochester, 1965-1966
  • Assistant: Libby-Owens-Ford Glass Co., Summers of 1964 and 1965
Professional Affiliations and Activities: 
  • American Physical Society: Member, Committee on Directed Energy Weapons, 1985-1986
  • American Institute of Physics: Member, 1966-present
  • The Optical Society (OSA): President, 2010
  • OSA: President-Elect, 2009
  • OSA: Vice President, 2008
  • OSA: Editor-in-Chief, Applied Optics, 2006-2008
  • OSA: Investment Subcommittee, 2001-present
  • OSA: Fellows and Honorary Members Committee Member, 2001-2002
  • OSA: Associate Editor, Optics Express, 1998-present
  • OSA: Ives Medal Committee, 1997-1998
  • OSA: SOAP Committee Member, 1991-1993
  • OSA: SOAP Committee Chairman, 1993
  • OSA: Optical Technology Division Editor, Applied Optics, 1992-1997
  • OSA: Topical Editor, Optics Letters, 1990-1992
  • OSA: Topical Editor, Applied Optics, 1989-1992
  • OSA: Fraunhofer Committee Chairman, 1985
  • OSA: Fraunhofer Committee Member, 1984-1986
  • OSA: Associate Editor, Applied Optics, 1983 and 1988-1992
  • OSA: Topical Editor, Journal of the Optical Society of America, 1983-1986
  • OSA: Ives Medal Committee 1982
  • OSA: Finance and Investment Committee, 1981-1984
  • OSA: Executive Committee, 1980-1981
  • OSA: Board of Directors, 1979-1981
  • OSA: Associate Editor, Journal of the Optical Society of America, 1978-1983
  • OSA: Committee on Education, 1978-1980
  • OSA: Adolph Lomb Committee, 1977-1978
  • OSA: Chairman, Tucson Section, 1976-1977
  • OSA: Editorial Advisory Panel, Optics Letters, 1975
  • OSA: Member, Tucson Section, 1974-present
  • OSA: Member, 1966-present
  • Optical Society of India: Lifetime Fellow, 2005-present
  • Optical Society of Japan: International Advisory Member, Optical Review, 1999-present
  • Optical Society of Korea: Honorary Member, 2010-present
  • SPIE: Fellows Committee, 1997-present
  • SPIE: President's Advisory Committee, 1997-present
  • SPIE: Kingslake Award Committee Chairman, 1988
  • SPIE: Immediate Past-President, 1987
  • SPIE: President, 1986
  • SPIE: President-Elect, 1985
  • SPIE: Chairman, 1984
  • SPIE: Awards Committee, 1983-1984
  • SPIE: Symposia Committee, 1980-1983
  • SPIE: Board of Governors, 1978-1984
  • SPIE: Associate Editor, Optical Engineering, 1976-1984
  • United States Advisory Committee for the International Commission for Optics: Member, 1978-1983
Awards and Honors: 
  • Arizona Innovator of the Year Product Award, 1993
  • NASA: Goddard Achievement Award, 2006
  • National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (Mexico): Doctorado Honoris Causa, 2008
  • National Academy of Engineering: Member, 2007
  • The Optical Society (OSA): Joseph Fraunhofer Award, 1992
  • OSA: Fellow, 1977-present
  • Optical Society of India: Lifetime Achievement Award, 2007
  • Photonics Circle of Excellence Award, 2004, 1993, 1992, 1990, 1988
  • Research and Development Magazine: R&D 100 Award, 2005, 2004, 1993
  • SPIE: Life Member
  • SPIE: Chandra S. Vikram Award in Optical Metrology, 2010
  • SPIE: Gold Medal, 2003
  • SPIE: Technology Achievement Award, 1988
  • SPIE: Fellow, 1980-present
  • SPIE: Governors' Award, 1979
  • Tom Brown Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award, 2005
  • The University of Arizona: Technology Innovation Award, 2005
  • The University of Arizona: College of Business and Public Administration, Entrepreneurial Fellow, 1989
  • University of Rochester: College of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award, 1994
OPTI 505
OPTI 513
Specific Research Interests: 
  • implementation of microcomputers and software to interferometric techniques for optical measurements, in particular for optical testing
  • testing of supersmooth optical surfaces
  • measurement of optically rough surfaces
  • testing of complex aspheric surfaces
  • development of commercial optical test equipment based on phase-shifting interferometry
Research Summary: 

My major research and development interests involve using interferometric techniques combined with computers and modern electronics to produce "state of the art" solutions for a variety of metrology problems. Particular interests are:

  • Demonstrating the use of microcomputers, software and interferometric techniques for measurements of optical components and optical systems, measurement of supersmooth (1 Angstrom rms or less) optical surfaces; absolute measurements of surfaces; measurement of optically rough surfaces; testing of complex aspheric surfaces; dynamic interferometers for precision surface roughness and shape measurements in manufacturing environments and the shape measurement of vibrating surfaces.
  • Development of commercial optical test equipment based on phase-shifting interferometry for solving metrology problems in many industries including data storage, semiconductor, machine tool, optical fabrication, fiber optics, printing and biomedical.

Books Authored

  • Field Guide to Interferometric Optical Testing
    Eric P. Goodwin and James C. Wyant

Books Edited

  • Applied Optics and Optical Engineering Vol. VII
    Robert R. Shannon and James C. Wyant
  • Applied Optics and Optical Engineering Vol. VIII
    Robert R. Shannon and James C. Wyant
  • Applied Optics and Optical Engineering Vol. IX
    Robert R. Shannon and James C. Wyant
  • Applied Optics and Optical Engineering Vol. X
    Robert R. Shannon and James C. Wyant
  • Applied Optics and Optical Engineering Vol. XI
    Robert R. Shannon and James C. Wyant