SOCORRO, N.M., May 2, 2001 -- After six months on the job at New Mexico Tech, Scott Teare has been dividing his time between being a professor of electrical engineering (EE) and as a research physicist for the Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO) in his dual role at the state-supported research university.
In his capacity as an electrical engineering professor, Teare is currently is tasked with managing two laboratory courses--one in micro-controllers and another in digital electronics. He also serves as an academic advisor to several undergraduates and has even recruited a few of them to work in
his photonics laboratory.
Next semester, Teare will be in charge of the EE department's senior design course in which students enrolled in the class take on real-world problems submitted by industry. He also has developed a new course for the fall semester in optical coating and electronic device fabrication which will be offered jointly through the EE and physics departments.
As a research physicist, Teare is participating in the development of instrumentation and adaptive optics systems for New Mexico Tech's MRO, a state-of-the-art optical observatory that, once constructed, will produce extremely detailed images of celestial objects located in the far reaches of the universe.
"I've spent the last five years working on various astronomical telescopes and have been focusing on building scientific instrumentation and adaptive optics systems," Teare relates.
By developing and combining new technologies, such as adaptive optics and optical interferometry, astronomers and other scientists using the MRO will be provided with unprecedented clarity and resolution in the images they attain of distant stars.
In the recent past, Teare has worked with Laird Thompson of the University of Illinois on retrofitting the 83-year-old, 100-inch telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Southern California with laser-guided star adaptive optics which compensate and correct for optical disturbances caused by atmospheric turbulence, allowing astronomers to do cutting-edge research on some of these older telescopes.
"I've also built spectrometers for telescopes, and am in the process of completing a near infrared spectrograph as my first research project here at Tech," he notes. "It's all very fun stuff. . . . There's no problem finding exciting things to do."
Teare's other research interests also include astrophysics, high-speed parallel computing, and high-angular resolution imaging. Later this month, he is hosting a photometry workshop in Big Bear, Calif., as part of the annual International Amateur/Professional Photometry-Western Wing Symposium.
He earned his bachelor of science degree in physics and mathematics, as well as his master of science and doctorate in condensed matter physics, from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.
"My coming to work at New Mexico Tech is an ideal scenario for me," Teare relates. "I've been impressed with how many doors can be opened through being at Tech."
In his spare time, the Canadian-born physicist enjoys scuba diving and sailing -- even if it means a 12-hour drive to his favorite sailing spot, California's Long Beach Harbor -- and, closer to home, mountain biking along the Rio Grande.
"The Desert Southwest is a great place to be at," he says.