Stephen D. Jacobs

Professor of Optics and Chemical Engineering
Senior Scientist, Laboratory for Laser Energetics

PhD in Optics, University of Rochester, 1976

The Stephen D. Jacobs Annual Memorial Talk has been organized by the OSA-Rochester Section to honor the late Dr. Stephen D. Jacobs’s local and global contributions to the fields of optical materials, liquid crystals, optics manufacturing and educational outreach.  Steve spent his entire career at the University of Rochester with appointments to the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE),  Institute of Optics, Materials Science and Chemical Engineering departments.  His research included topics such as phosphate laser glass, frequency conversion crystals, liquid crystal laser optics, optical finishing of glass, ceramics and crystals, magnetorheological finishing (MRF), cholesteric liquid crystal flakes for display applications, and laser damage in multilayer dielectric coatings.  Steve Jacobs touched many lives.  We are honored to have this annual lecture in memory of our great colleague, friend and mentor.

In addition to his significant technical contributions Steve also had a passion for educational outreach.  He volunteered as the educational outreach chair for the OSA-Rochester Section for over 15 years, during which time he developed and organized the Optics Suitcase program that has been instrumental in introducing hundreds of thousands of young children to the fields of optics and materials science throughout the US and globally in over 40 countries. 

Stephen D. Jacobs received his BS in optics (with high distinction) in 1970, and his PhD in Optics in 1976, both from the University of Rochester.  He worked at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) his entire career, becoming a senior scientist in 1982.  He managed the Department of Optical Technology within the Engineering Division.  This department consists of 11 scientists, engineers and technicians doing basic materials research, advanced development, process development and optics manufacturing.  He supported the OMEGA and OMEGA EP laser systems in areas including precision optics from the IR through the UV, high power dielectric/sol-gel coatings, laser induced damage, multilayer dielectric gratings for pulse compression, fibers and adhesives for fusion target fabrication and liquid crystal optics.