University of Rochester

Engineering Dean to be Nominated to White House Post

September 2, 1997

President Clinton intends to nominate Duncan T. Moore, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Rochester, as associate director for technology of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the White House announced today.

The nomination will go before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and if recommended, to the full Senate for confirmation. If the appointment is approved, Moore will take a leave of absence as a tenured faculty member at the University and will work closely with President Clinton's science adviser, Jack Gibbons, to set the nation's technology policy.

"The White House has made an outstanding selection by tapping Duncan Moore for its technology office," says University President Thomas Jackson. "Professor Moore's extensive connections with industry and his experience running his own high-tech company, coupled with the insight honed by more than two decades of teaching and research in the university's Institute of Optics, are invaluable for helping shape this nation's technological goals for years to come."

An optical engineer and businessman who is an internationally recognized expert on lens design, Moore has held several highly prominent national administrative posts. In 1993-1994 Moore served as science and technology adviser to Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia. At that time Rockefeller was chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Science, and Moore helped draft legislation on several science and technology issues. Last year Moore served as president of the 12,000-member Optical Society of America, where he emphasized members' involvement in public policy.

Moore, the Rudolf and Hilda Kingslake Professor of Optical Engineering, focuses his research on gradient-index or GRIN lenses, 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. The company produces high-quality, low-cost borescopes and is developing a new type of medical endoscope.

During the past decade Moore has played a pivotal role in modernizing the optics industry. His research on using computers to guide the design and manufacture of lenses quickly and precisely, along with similar work at Kodak, formed the basis for the University's Center for Optics Manufacturing (COM). COM was created in 1989 as a joint effort by universities, the optics industry and the U.S. Department of Defense to bring the technology to optics companies; small companies throughout the world, and larger ones such as Kodak and Texas Instruments, have taken advantage of COM's technology. For 6 years Moore also headed the University's New York State Center for Advanced Optical Technology, which worked closely with such companies as Kodak, Xerox and RG&E to develop new optics technologies.

Moore has been a visiting scientist at Nippon Schlumberger in Japan and has worked at Western Electric, where he developed a new photolithography system. He also headed NASA's Hubble Independent Optical Review Panel, which determined the exact condition of the flawed mirror on the Hubble Telescope.

A member of the faculty since 1974, Moore earned his bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Maine and his master's and Ph.D. degrees in optics from the University. He is a fellow of OSA and the International Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE) and has served as director of the University's Institute of Optics, the nation's original optics facility. Moore 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.

"Under President Clinton's leadership, OSTP has forged strong partnerships with the scientific and technical communities in the academic, industrial and civilian sectors as a critical element of our economic competitiveness," said Gibbons. "Duncan Moore will be instrumental in helping maintain the nation's position at the forefront of technological and scientific capability."

Moore is the second scientist with a University of Rochester connection to be nominated to a senior post in OSTP in the last decade. Alumnus D. Allen Bromley served as head of OSTP and science adviser to George Bush during his administration.