SPIE recognizes UA Faculty with Prestigious Awards

Feb. 4, 2019








Buddy Martin















Three UA Faculty recognized

SPIE announces its prestigious awards annually to scientists and faculty who have made significant contributions to the scientific and educational communities. The University of Arizona is pleased to present among this years’ awardees three dedicated UA faculty.

James C. Wyant, founding dean and Professor Emeritus of the College of Optical Sciences, received the SPIE Visionary Award. According to SPIE, this award is “presented to individuals whose work demonstrates any or all qualities of exceptional foresight, creativity, advocacy, and vision, that furthers the research, development, and industries related to light-based technologies.”  This award recognizes his formative contributions to the college and his innovation and perseverance to spearhead the creation of two major optics companies, WYKO Corporation and 4D Technology. Finally, the award recognizes his benevolent and generous philanthropy supporting optics and photonics education, including his recent endowment at the College of Optical Sciences which will support a minimum of ten new faculty chairs, a $20M investment.

Thomas L. Koch, Dean of the College of Optical Sciences, said of Wyant, “It’s so exciting for us to see Jim get this unique and special recognition with the SPIE Visionary Award.  Jim’s technical and business innovations, his leadership in research and education at the College of Optical Sciences, and his personal commitment to the future talent in our field, are truly staggering and indelible contributions to the field of optics.”

Harrison H. Barrett, Regents’ Professor of Medical Imaging and Optical Sciences, shared the inaugural award for the SPIE Harrison H. Barrett Award in Medical Imaging with three additional awardees. As one of the founders of the SPIE Medical Imaging Conferences that began in 1972, Barrett has been a long-standing leader in the field’s development. The first four recipients of this new award include Harrison H. Barrett, Arthur E. Burgess, Charles E. Metz., and Robert F. Wagner. “SPIE presents this award in recognition of their many and significant contributions to Image Science applied to Medical Imaging.” Barrett is also recognized for his generous philanthropy to the College of Optical Sciences in creating the endowment for the Harrison H. and Catherine C. Barrett Endowed Chair in Optical Sciences for Cancer Imaging.

Thomas L. Koch, also said of Barrett, “Harry has enjoyed a remarkable career of pioneering contributions here at the College of Optical Sciences that laid the foundations that define the field of Image Science.  It’s wonderfully appropriate that Harry, along with his esteemed colleagues in the field, share as inaugural recipients in the award that SPIE created in his honor.”

Hubert M. Martin, Project Scientist at the Steward Observatory and Associate Research Professor of Optical Sciences, received the SPIE A.E. Conrady Award in Optical Engineering. This award is presented annually to a scientist who presents “exceptional contributions in design, construction, testing and theory of optical and illumination systems and instrumentation.” Martin is recognized with this award for his substantial work at University of Arizona which has contributed to the design, construction, and testing of optical systems and instrumentation at the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab.

Buell Jannuzi, Director of Steward Observatory, said of Martin, “Buddy Martin’s leadership in advancing the technology used to make giant mirrors is transforming astronomy.  The challenging giant mirrors he and his team are polishing, including those for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Giant Magellan Telescope, will enable astronomical observations of unprecedented sensitivity and spatial resolution.”

Together, these awards recognize that the University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences and Steward Observatory are driven by scientists and educators of exceptional character and innovation. We are happy to congratulate Wyant, Barrett, Martin and the other awardees receiving these recognitions.

Visit SPIE’s website to view the full listing of SPIE annual awards.

About the University of Arizona James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences: 

The University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences, founded as the Optical Sciences Center, has been shaping the future since 1964 by offering high-quality instruction, cutting-edge research and a solid commitment to the development of the optics industry. OSC remains dedicated to providing the state of Arizona and the nation with an internationally pre-eminent program in all aspects of the study of light. For more information, please visit www.optics.arizona.edu or call 520-621-6997.


Ameé Hennig
Media Content Manager