Optical software maker Optical Research Associates (ORA) President and CEO Robert Hilbert has been elected chairman of the board of directors, the Pasadena, Calif.-based company announced today. Hilbert, a 32-year ORA veteran, succeeds company founder Thomas Harris, who served as CEO until his retirement in 2000 and as chairman for over 30 years. Harris will continue as a board member. Hilbert joined ORA in 1975 as its vice president of engineering services; he was promoted to president in 1991 and CEO in 2000. Hilbert received his BS and MS degrees in optics from the University of Rochester and holds seven US patents in optics. He is also a SPIE fellow.