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  • Boye Named UA Alumnus of the Year
Sep 2016
TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 7, 2016 — The University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences (OSC) has announced that Robert R. Boye, manager of the physics-based microsystems department at Sandia National Laboratories, has been selected as the college’s 2016 Alumnus of the Year.

Dr. Robert R. Boye“This award is to recognize Rob for his innumerous contributions to the field of optics both in research and in management,” said Thomas L. Koch, dean of the College of Optical Sciences. “He is also a true philanthropic leader in making opportunities possible for students in higher education. As a Boye Foundation trustee, Rob has led their interest in generously funding scholarships and teaching lab upgrades at the college for over a decade now.”

Boye holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in optical sciences from the University of Arizona, as well as a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After a position at Westinghouse in Baltimore, Boye developed advanced electro-optic switches and acousto-optic modulators while also earning a master’s degree in electrical engineering at John Hopkins University.

As part of the Sandia’s Microsystems Engineering Sciences and Applications (MESA) facility in Albuquerque, N.M., Boye and his group work to advance the state-of-the-art in quantum sensing, generating remarkable and novel solutions harnessing the capabilities of light including atomic-physics-based sensors; atom and ion trapping devices and systems; unique diffractive, subwavelength and micro-optical components and systems; critical electrochemical materials processes; and unprecedented micro-machined devices. Boye currently supervises a department of nearly 20 scientists, engineers, technologists and support staff, leveraging a diverse set of capabilities to provide science and technology products to enhance Sandia's national security missions.

“From the very first day in this role, Rob has applied his skills and knowledge to repeatedly provide significant technical impact across the broad mission space we support,” said Clinton A. Boye, senior manager for advanced microsystems at Sandia. “Under Rob’s leadership, his group has set a vision for his organization that has contributed to remarkable advances in the field. Rob has always been a patient mentor to those less versed in the optical sciences, and this quality has grown to where he guides some of the nation’s leading researchers in their fields.”

As a trustee for the Boye Foundation in Franklin Lakes, N.J., Rob has been instrumental in securing the foundation’s interest to support the College of Optical Sciences. Since 2003, the Boye Foundation, founded by Rob’s late father William E. Boye Jr., has contributed a sum of nearly $1 million to fund scholarships to over 150 students. These funds have also helped to advance the college’s academic programs with equipment purchases for its teaching laboratories. In 2014, the Boye Foundation also established a permanent scholarship endowment to provide a first-year optical sciences graduate student with a stipend of $20,000 and waived tuition.

“Optics has been the cornerstone of my career, and it’s hard to express in words how much I have benefited from this technology and the community that is the College of Optical Sciences,” Boye said.

The award will be presented at a special ceremony on Oct. 28 as part of the university’s homecoming celebrations.

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