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USF’s Killinger, Keck Made NAI Fellows

Photonics Spectra
Mar 2018
TAMPA, Fla. — University of South Florida physics professor emeritus Dennis Killinger and USF Institute for Advanced Discovery & Innovation professor Donald Keck have been named by the National Academy of Inventors as 2017 Fellows.

NAI Fellows are academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and welfare of society. The NAI named 155 distinguished academic inventors to the 2017 class.

"It is my privilege to welcome the 2017 class of outstanding academic inventors to the academy as fellows," said Paul Sanberg, USF's senior vice president for research, innovation and knowledge enterprise. "Dennis Killinger and Donald Keck have made remarkable contributions to society through their research and their achievements in patents, licensing and commercialization. They have created tools that not only advance research and discovery, but also improve the lives of people around the world."

Killinger is a USF Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Physics and past director of the Lidar Remote Sensing Laboratory in the College of Arts and Sciences, and is known internationally for his work in laser and optical remote sensing, lidar, applied laser spectroscopy, laser physics, and free space optical laser communication. He is also president and CEO of SenOptics, which develops atmospheric laser communication and lidar sensors for driverless vehicles.

Killinger was one of the early pioneers in the field of tunable laser development, high-resolution laser spectroscopy and laser remote sensing more than 40 years ago. He is responsible for some of the major advances in this field, including the first laser remote sensing and mapping of methane, CO, NO, ammonia and CO2 in the atmosphere, the detection of trace plastics and organics leached into drinking water, and remote laser-induced-breakdown spectroscopy of explosives.

Keck is a professor in USF's Institute for Advanced Discovery & Innovation, which brings together internationally recognized senior leaders to advise the administrative leadership of the university, share insights with USF's faculty and mentor students. Keck is a leader in the Institute's Get Innovative class at the USF Honors College and guides students through the process of innovation and discovery.

Keck retired in 2002 as vice president and executive director of research at Corning Inc. It was at Corning where Keck worked with Robert Maurer and Peter Schultz to invent the seminal materials and process technology and demonstrate the first practical low-loss optical communications fiber. Their work enabled today's high-speed optical fiber communications network, without which the internet would not exist. More than 3.7 billion kilometers of optical fiber based on their inventions now encircle the planet.

The 2017 NAI Fellows will be inducted in April as part of the Seventh Annual NAI Conference of the National Academy of Inventors. They were nominated by their peers.

The National Academy of Inventors recognizes and encourages inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhances the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourages the disclosure of intellectual property, educates and mentors innovative students, and translates the inventions of its members to benefit society.

GLOSSARY
lidar
An acronym of light detection and ranging, describing systems that use a light beam in place of conventional microwave beams for atmospheric monitoring, tracking and detection functions. Ladar, an acronym of laser detection and ranging, uses laser light for detection of speed, altitude, direction and range; it is often called laser radar.
BusinessDennis KillingerDonald KeckUniversity of South FloridaUSFNational Academy of InventorsNAIlidarlasersspectroscopymaterialsCommunicationsAmericaslight speed

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