Clemson's John Ballato named OSA Fellow

Nov. 23, 2011
John Ballato, a professor of materials science and engineering and director of the Clemson University Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET), has been named a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA).
John Ballato of Clemson University, OSA Fellow
John Ballato of Clemson University, OSA Fellow

Clemson, SC--John Ballato, a professor of materials science and engineering and director of the Clemson University Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET), has been named a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA).

Ballato was cited for his "research on optical and optoelectronic materials and fibers both directly and through his formation and direction of the Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies at Clemson University."

The honor is the highest status awarded to members of the society. It is given on the basis of scientific and technical achievements and innovations, accomplishments as an educator and service to the field.

"It's gratifying at any time to be recognized by your peers, but especially so from the Optical Society," says Ballato said. "I'm privileged to be a part of a field with such a rich history and promising future. The science of light plays an increasingly important role in the way we live. Optical fiber is the enabling technology behind modern communications and is finding growing use in medical, sensing and defense systems."

Ballato, who holds 25 U.S. and foreign patents, has been principal investigator for sponsored programs, gifts, and contracts at Clemson valued at more than $40 million. His research ranges from optical fiber fabrication to photonic communication systems.

As director of COMSET, he oversees interdisciplinary research conducted by more than two-dozen faculty from five Clemson departments. COMSET's focus is the science and engineering of light and the development of advanced materials, devices and systems that generate, transmit, manipulate and utilize light.

"The Carolinas have more than 100 photonics-based companies, and it's an industry with tremendous growth potential for our region," says Ballato. "The expanding market for optical fiber and other photonics-related technologies offers numerous possibilities for new high-paying and homegrown jobs."

Ballato also holds Fellow status in both the International Society for Optical Engineering and the American Ceramic Society. He has served as Clemson's associate vice president for research and economic development and as interim vice president for research.

Ballato joined Clemson in 1997 after receiving his doctorate in Ceramic and Materials Engineering from Rutgers University, where he also received his bachelor's degree in Ceramic Science and Engineering in 1993. He has more than 230 publications and 2,200 citations to his credit.

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