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Vision-Correction Pioneer Awarded Land Medal

Photonics.com
May 2007
ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 10, 2007 -- The Edwin H. Land Medal, which recognizes achievement in optics with major public impact, has been presented this year to a man considered to be one of the founding fathers of laser vision correction.

charlesmunnerlyn.jpg
Charles Munnerlyn, recipient of the 2007 Edwin H. Land Medal.
Charles Munnerlyn was selected to receive the 2007 Land Medal for his "pioneering science, engineering, and entrepreneurship in developing excimer laser surgery for the correction of vision…which created a new industry and has made normal vision without glasses possible for millions of people," said the award's sponsors, the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T). The surgery is one of the fastest-growing in the US, performed on 2 million eyes last year, OSA and IS&T said.

After graduating from the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester with an engineering doctorate in 1969, Munnerlyn headed research and development for Tropel (now Corning Tropel Corp.), a designer of prototype custom lenses for copiers, cameras, satellites and semiconductor photolithography based in the Rochester area.

In the early 1970s he designed the first digital device for automatically determining refractive errors in the human eye, as well as a pressure test to detect glaucoma. In 1986 Munnerlyn and a small group of engineering and medical colleagues founded Visx, a maker of laser-based vision-correction systems, in Santa Clara, Calif. The company performed its first procedure on a human eye with US Food and Drug Administration approval in 1987.

Munnerlyn, a UR trustee, received the university's 2002 School of Engineering and Applied Sciences' Distinguished Alumnus Award. He holds 26 US patents.

For more information, visit: http://osa.org


GLOSSARY
excimer
A contraction of "excited dimer." The term refers to an excited species made by combination of two identical atoms or molecules, one of which is excited and one of which is at a ground state.
eye
The organ of vision or light sensitivity.  
photolithography
A lithographic technique using an image produced by photography for printing on a print-nonprint, sectioned surface.
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
vision
The processes in which luminous energy incident on the eye is perceived and evaluated.
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