Professor Michel Cagnet received a degree from the Institut d'Optique Théorique et Appliquée (now known as Institut d'Optique Graduate School) in Paris in 1948. He went on to receive the degree of Doctor-Ingenieur at the institute.
As a research scientist, Dr. Cagnet simultaneously pursued missions at the Haute-Provence Observatory located in Saint-Michel-l'Observatoire in south France as well as collaborations with the Laboratoire d'Astronomie Spatiale in Orsay, near Paris. He became Directeur des Etudes (Dean of Academic Affairs) at the Institut d'Optique in 1968, where he worked closely with the renowned French scientist in optics, Dr. Andre Marechal. Prof. Cagnet taught geometric optics and aberration theory to generations of optics students using intuitive graphical and visual methods until he retired in 1993.
Prof. Cagnet’s enduring legacy is his leadership in creating the timeless “aAtlas of Optical Phenomena,” published in black and white and a rare edition in color by Springer-Verlag (Berlin, 1962) with text in French, German, and English.
The Professor Michel Cagnet Graduate Student Scholarship was established by Jannick P. Rolland and Kevin P. Thompson in honor of the profound guidance, instruction, and mentorship in geometrical optics and aberration theory that Dr. Cagnet offered to many generations of students, including Prof. Rolland.
The Cagnet Scholarship is open to first-year graduate students at the College of Optical Sciences. In addition to displaying academic excellence, applicants should demonstrate commitment to scholarship, involvement in extracurricular activities and interests beyond science and technology. Preference is given to students with research interests in geometrical and classical optics.