University of Rochester

Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

Moore earns top honor in optics field


Duncan Moore, the Rudolf and Hilda Kingslake Professor of Optical Engineering, has won the International Society for Optical Engineering's (SPIE) Gold Medal award. The medal is the highest honor SPIE bestows and is presented annually in recognition of outstanding engineering or scientific accomplishments that have proven pivotal to the progress of optics. Moore will receive the award at the SPIE Awards Banquet in San Diego this summer.

"It is highly appropriate that SPIE should choose to honor Duncan Moore with this prize," says Wayne Knox, director of the Institute of Optics. "He is a consummate leader and educator in the field of optical engineering, and exemplifies the innovation and entrepreneurial leadership that are characteristic of many of our graduates."

Moore '74 (PhD) won the honor for his innovative research in gradient-index, or GRIN, lenses. GRIN systems use a special type of lens that mimics the way insect eyes work and allows light to travel in curved paths. Tiny GRIN lenses often take the place of much bigger conventional lenses and have made possible desk-top copiers and fax machines.

In 1980, Moore founded his own company, Gradient Lens Corp., to commercialize the technology. He has received several prizes for his research and business accomplishments, including the Greater Rochester Metro Chamber of Commerce Science and Technology Award, a research award from the Japanese Applied Physics Society, and the Distinguished Inventor Award from the Rochester Intellectual Property Law Association, Inc.

He is the former dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, as well as the former director of the Institute of Optics, and former president of the Optical Society of America. An optical engineer and businessman who is an internationally recognized expert on lens design, Moore has held several highly prominent national administrative posts.

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