Quality Magazine

NASA Marshall Physicist Elected SPIE Vice President

September 23, 2011

Dr. H. Philip Stahl, senior optical physicist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AlL, has been elected vice president for 2012 of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

Stahl is a leading authority in optical metrology, optical engineering and phase-measuring interferometry. He serves as the optical metrology lead for optical components within the Optical Telescope Element of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Program. He has developed high-speed and infrared phase-measuring interferometers used in the fabrication of many of the world's largest telescopes, including the Keck, Very Large Telescope and Gemini observatories.

SPIE was founded in 1955 as the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers with the mission to advance development and application of light-based technologies. The society seeks to develop and mature emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent and career and professional growth. In 2010, SPIE provided over $2.3 million in support of education and outreach programs.

Stahl’s election enables his continued role in SPIE leadership; as he will serve as president- elect in 2013 and president in 2014.

Stahl joined NASA in 1999 to lead mirror technology development for the James Webb Space Telescope. He currently serves on NASA’s Office of Chief Technologist -Technology Roadmap team, which guides strategic planning. He recently received a $2.85 million contract to begin developing new mirror technologies for future replacement of the Hubble Space Telescope.

During his tenure at NASA, Stahl has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including an agency award for Sustained Superior Performance in 2007 and the Marshall Center Director’s Commendation Award in 2004.

In addition to SPIE, Stahl is actively engaged with, the Optical Society of America and founded the Mirror Technology in Government Workshop, a Huntsville-based association which facilitates interagency cooperation in technology development and encourages young people to pursue careers in science and technology.

A native of Bellevue, Ohio, Stahl received his bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics in 1979 from Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH; and earned a master's degree and a doctorate in optical sciences from the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1983 and 1985, respectively.

For more information on optics visit: optics.nasa.gov .