The full set of 2019 awards from the SPIE – the International Society for Optics and Photonics – have been formally announced. Two people closely involved with GMT have been recognized for their unique contributions to the field.
First, Prof. James Wyant has been awarded the 2019 Visionary Award for his role as founding Dean of the College of Optical Sciences at the UA and for bringing photonics to the WYCO and 4D technology companies. Prof. Wyant served on the GMTO board during a critical period for the project and we benefited greatly from his wisdom.
Second, Dr. Buddy Martin has been awarded the A.E. Conrady Award in Optical Engineering for his contributions to the polishing of large mirrors, including those for the GMT. Dr. Martin has been the guiding hand in the polishing of the GMT mirrors.
You can read the full citations here.
In addition, Dr. Giovanni Fazio of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics was recognized with the George W. Goddard Award in Space and Airborne optics for his exceptional achievements in the area of infrared instruments spanning 40 years including the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope. Many of us know Giovanni as a driving force in infrared astronomy. Our own Dr. James Fanson, GMT Project Manager, worked with Dr. Fazio during his time a NASA JPL when he played a key role in the Spitzer Space Telescope Project.
It is heartwarming to see experts within our community and people who play key roles in the development of the GMT receive the recognition that they deserve from the society of their professional peers. It’s a great day for the GMT, the University of Arizona, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.