$2.5M Baur-SPIE Endowed Chair Announced

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SPIE has announced the establishment of the Baur-SPIE Endowed Chair in Optics and Photonics at JILA, a joint institute of the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU Boulder) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). SPIE’s contribution of $500,000 in funding is being matched 3:1 by a gift of $1.5 million from Tom and Jeanne Baur. In addition, CU Boulder is providing a $500,000 contribution. The $2.5 million fund will support the first endowed chair at JILA.
Jeanne and Tom Baur, Courtesy of SPIE.
Jeanne and Tom Baur, Courtesy of SPIE.

The Baur-SPIE Endowed Chair in Optics and Photonics will enable JILA to expand its research and education capacity in optical physics and photonics, providing comprehensive support for a faculty chair. Preference will be given to early- to mid-career researchers affiliated with groups historically underrepresented at CU Boulder, as well as to academics who have an established interest in teaching and mentoring.

“Jeanne and I have been lifelong learners, and much of that learning has been outside that classroom,” said Tom Baur, founder of Meadowlark Optics and a former student at CU Boulder. “We have a strong respect for the hard work of the optical research community at JILA that we are supporting. We hope that our contribution will inspire others to contribute to the advancement of optical research at JILA and elsewhere.”

The SPIE Endowment Matching Program, established in 2019, is a $2.5 million, five-year educational funding initiative designed to increase international capacity in the teaching and research of optics and photonics. SPIE supports optics and photonics education and the future of the industry by contributing up to $500,000 per award to college and university programs with optics and photonics degrees, or with other disciplines allied to the SPIE mission.

Published: June 2020
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