Robert R. Shannon Graduate Student Endowed Scholarship in Optical Sciences

Robert Shannon

Robert R. (Bob) Shannon came to the University of Arizona in 1969 as a professor of optical sciences. He was later named director of the University’s Optical Sciences Center, serving from 1984 to 1992. He then was appointed Professor Emeritus of Optical Sciences.  

After receiving a B.S. and M.S. in optics from the University of Rochester, Bob began his career as a staff physicist and senior lens designer with Itek Corp. and progressed to the director’s role for Itek’s Advanced Technology Labs.

His research focused on the use of computers for testing and optical design, metrication of large optical systems, design of synthetic-aperture optical systems, analysis and design of unobscured-aperture optical systems, and optical fabrication and test methods.

He has been a prolific leader in the optics community, including terms as president of SPIE and the Optical Society (OSA). He served on the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and Aerospace Corp.’s board of trustees, as well as a number of National Academy of Sciences committees. Bob’s many technical contributions have earned numerous awards including SPIE’s Goddard Award and Gold Medal and membership in the National Academy of Engineering. He is a fellow of OSA and SPIE.

John Rogers, Robert Shannon, J. Michael Rodgers

Photo (left to right): John R. Rogers, Ph.D., senior scientist in imaging optics at Synopsys' Optical Solutions Group; Robert R. Shannon, Professor Emeritus; and J. Michael Rodgers, Ph.D., principal engineer in optical design at Synopsys, in August 2014.

This scholarship was founded by John R. Rogers and J. Michael Rodgers, steadfast friends and classmates at the College of Optical Sciences. Both were advised by Shannon while pursuing doctorate degrees in optical sciences. John and Mike founded this scholarship in appreciation for Robert Shannon’s wisdom, mentorship and lasting friendship. 


This scholarship is open to a first-year graduate student at the College of Optical Sciences. In addition to academic excellence, applicant should demonstrate commitment to scholarship, involvement in extracurricular activities and interests beyond science and technology.


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