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IWU Physicist Elected as Fellow of International Optical Society

Gabe Spalding
Gabe Spalding

Jan. 22, 2014

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University Professor of Physics Gabriel C. Spalding has been elected as a Fellow of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

Fellows are members of SPIE who have made significant scientific and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics and imaging. Fellows are honored for their technical achievement, and for their service to the general optics community and to SPIE in particular. For this scientific organization, less than one half of one percent of the membership may be eligible for consideration for lifetime membership in the Fellowship of the Society, making it an elite honor.

Spalding earned a doctorate from Harvard University and joined the faculty at Illinois Wesleyan in 1996. His recent research utilizes holographically textured fields to trap and manipulate matter. For more than 10 years, Spalding has taken Illinois Wesleyan students to the University of St. Andrews and Dundee in Scotland where they take part in “beam sculpting” research projects, most recently developing non-invasive methods of targeting and destroying tumors.

His service to SPIE includes: Chair and Proceedings Editor of the annual SPIE conference on Optical Trapping & Optical Micromanipulation for the past decade; short course instructor at nine SPIE conferences; faculty advisor to the SPIE student chapter at Illinois Wesleyan; and 2012 chair of a conference on laboratory instruction beyond the first year of college.

Spalding has recently been recognized by two national physics associations for his efforts to expand laboratory instruction nationwide for undergraduate students. Spalding was a founder of ALPhA, an association of college and university faculty and staff members dedicated to experimental physics instruction, and served as the association’s first president.     

Founded in 1955, SPIE is a not-for-profit professional society committed to advancing emerging light-based technologies. The organization has more than 235,000 constituents in approximately 155 countries.

Contact: Kim Hill, (309) 556-3960