University of Rochester

Optical Engineer to Receive 2009 Distinguished Alumnus Award

May 13, 2009

Stephen D. Fantone will receive the 2009 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Rochester on Sunday, May 17. Each year the award is given to an alum who has made exemplary contributions to technology, business, education, and society. Fantone will receive the award and address graduating seniors at the school's private commencement ceremony.

"Over the years Steve has been a tremendous asset to the Institute of Optics and to our entire engineering school here at Rochester. He's most deserving of this award," says Robert Clark, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. "Steve's insights in the field of engineering, along with his entrepreneurial leadership, will be profoundly valuable as we expand our school and enhance both the undergraduate and graduate student experience."

Fantone is a charter member of the University's George Eastman Circle, and he served as co-chair of the Biomedical Engineering/Optics Fundraising Committee. He is also a member of the National Council of the College, a group of alumni and other affiliated leaders that was formed in 2008 to advise the University on its current and future directions. He will soon be joining the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean's Advisory Committee as well.

Fantone received his Ph.D. in optics at the University of Rochester in 1979, after completing his undergraduate education in management and electrical engineering at MIT in 1974. He is the president and CEO of the Massachusetts-based Optikos Corporation, a privately held optical engineering consulting and manufacturing firm that he founded in 1982. Last year, the U.S. Small Business Administration named Optikos Corp. the Massachusetts Small Business Exporter of the Year.

Holding over 60 U.S. patents, Fantone is widely recognized as a leader in the optics industry. He has designed optics for a diverse range of commercial and industrial applications ranging from photographic systems and display technologies to medical devices and toys. Fantone was elected a fellow of the Optical Society of America in 1984 and received the society's Distinguished Service Award in 2007.