Optics Society Honors Professor As ‘Fellow’

SOCORRO, N.M. April 3, 2012 – Dr. Scott Teare, professor of electrical engineering, recently received the top honor from the international optics society. SPIE elected Teare a Fellow of the Society this year for his achievements in adaptive optics.

  Dr. Scott Teare
  Professor of Electrical Engineering
  Fellow of the Society, SPIE
“There is no question in my mind that receiving this honor would not have been possible without all the help and support that I have received from my colleagues and the administration at New Mexico Tech,” Teare said. “I was the beneficiary of a number of very unique opportunities that would have been hard to get elsewhere. Being elected a Fellow is a nice recognition – that you’re work has been noted and appreciated.”

Teare said he was fortunate that, shortly after arriving at New Mexico Tech, he was invited to participate in an Inter-governmental Personnel Agreement with the Air Force Research Laboratory that integrated him into active research projects at Kirtland Air Force base in Albuquerque. On campus, he has worked with scientists and engineers at EMRTC and had the opportunity to serve two 3-year terms as a department chair shortly after joining the faculty. He was also a Senior Fellow with the Naval Research Laboratory in 2009 as part of the Office on Naval Research’s ASEE Summer Faculty Fellowship Program.

“These are wonderful opportunities,” he said. “It’s hard to walk in and find things like that, particularly over a short time span, but it’s possible at New Mexico Tech.”

Each year, SPIE promotes members as new Fellows of the Society. SPIE recognized 75 new Fellows in 2012. Fellows are members of distinction who have made significant scientific and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics, and imaging. They are honored for their technical achievement, for their service to the general optics community, and to SPIE in particular. More than 900 SPIE members have become Fellows since the Society’s inception in 1955.

“The annual recognition of Fellows provides an opportunity for us to acknowledge Members for their outstanding technical contributions and service to SPIE,” said Eustace L. Dereniak, SPIE President.

The SPIE’s announcement noted that Teare is a leading researcher in wavefront sensing and control, optical sensors, and adaptive optics. One of his many contributions was on the Rayleigh laser guide star adaptive optics system on the 100-inch Hooker Telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory. This project integrated high-power computing, advanced optical systems, and ultraviolet laser technologies onto a 1910s-era 2.5-meter telescope. At Mount Wilson Observatory, Teare also collaborated using the observatory’s 60-inch telescope and a video-rate camera based “shift and add” method to obtain the highest resolution images of Mercury recorded from a ground-based telescope at the time.

The Rayleigh system is what Teare calls the “Rolls Royce approach,” while the shift-and-add techniques is the low budget variety. Both methods achieve similar results – removal of atmospheric distortion from the light from astronomical objects to produce a pristine image from large aperture telescopes.

In addition to his work in astronomical adaptive optics, he has collaborated with scientists and engineers at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Naval Research Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories on adaptive optics projects involving the development of compact systems, light weight telescopes, liquid crystal correctors, and novel wavefront sensors. As part of his work, Teare was involved in the development of a number of instruments for use in determining optical aberrations, detecting local and global tip tilt for wide field imaging, and the generation of atmospheric turbulence phase screens through a software controlled diffractive liquid crystal device. Several of these projects have resulted in patent submissions, one of which was awarded in 2011.

While the criteria for becoming a Fellow are focused on research contributions, Teare maintains a full schedule of teaching and advising.

“It’s fun and I enjoy it,” he said. “I find teaching is a very nice compliment to the research activities – and it keeps you sharp on the basics. I guess it supports my own selfish interests and I have fun working with students in the classroom and laboratories.”

Teare is involved with the greater optics community as a member of the Canadian Association of Physicists, a Senior Member of the IEEE, and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. With these and other organizations, he has contributed to conferences as a program committee member, session chair and organizer. He has been a manuscript reviewer for several journals, a proposal reviewer for funding agencies, and is a supporter of amateur astronomy activities.

With SPIE, Teare has been actively involved in the Society’s efforts to be an endorsing organization for the accreditation of Optical and Photonics Engineering through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). He was one of the first ABET program evaluators for SPIE, became the first SPIE ABET Program Evaluator Mentor, and is currently an ABET Team Chair. He has been nominated as the SPIE representative on the 2012 ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission. He has also served on the SPIE Membership and SPIE Publications committees, is a co-author of the SPIE Tutorial Text “Introduction to Image Stabilization”, and is an SPIE Visiting Lecturer. In 2008, he was recognized for his work by being elected a Senior Member of SPIE.

“As a large professional organization, SPIE is responsive and fosters innovation quite effectively,” Teare said. “They provide a forum for moving rapid advances in technologies outward into the community. SPIE provides many opportunities for researchers and scientists at all stages of their careers, while remaining both technically oriented and forward thinking.”

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 180,000 constituents from 168 countries, the Society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific, and supports scholarships, grants, and other education programs around the world. See www.SPIE.org for information.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech