Meadowlark’s Baur Awarded G.G. Stokes Award

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Tom Baur, chairman and founder of polarization solution manufacturer Meadowlark Optics, has been awarded the 2018 G.G. Stokes Award from the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE).

Tom BaurBaur is being recognized for a lifetime of leadership in polarization optical components through Meadowlark Optics and for revolutionizing the polarization field through commercialization of liquid crystal variable retarders (LCVRs).

“I am pleased, honored and humbled to accept this award and to join past recipients whom I have long admired and respected,” Baur said. “Polarization optics is a field that is continuously growing and changing, and I’m glad I’ve been able to contribute to that growth and development in a positive way.”

Coming from National Center for Atmospheric Research nearly 40 years ago, Baur first manufactured Pockels cells for his astronomer friends. Shortly thereafter, products like polarizers and liquid crystal products came out, including some of the first reflective spatial light modulators (SLPs). Baur’s vision has always been to help customers by providing the highest quality polarization products available. His work with LCVRs and SLPs garnered Meadowlark Optics five awards over a seven-year span for innovative products.

“LCVRs represent a revolutionary technology that was brought to the commercial market by Tom Baur and Meadowlark Optics,” says SPIE Fellow Joseph Shaw, director of the Optical Technology Center at Montana State University. “LCVRs have dramatically improved measurements across a wide range of research fields, from solar physics to biology. Tom is a superb example of scientist-turned-entrepreneur, and I am happy to see his accomplishments recognized.”

SPIE is an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering and technology. The society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals and the SPIE Digital Library. Meadowlark Optics manufactures polarization solution components, including liquid crystal shutters, rotators and SLPs for wavelengths ranging from UV to MWIR.

Published: February 2018
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