LIVERMORE, Calif. — Howard Powell, a long-time Lab laser researcher who died last November, has been elected a Fellow of the American Optical Society. This is the first time in the society’s history that fellowship has been granted posthumously.
Powell was recognized by the society "for seminal contributions to the research and development of high-energy, high-peak-power, and high-average-power solid-state lasers for inertial confinement fusion, military applications and commercial utilization."
The society also has organized a Howard Powell Memorial Symposium on High Peak Power Laser Technology to take place May 7 at the society’s Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics in Baltimore.
Powell worked at Lawrence Livermore for 27 years, holding numerous positions including Laser Science and Technology program leader. Powell also worked on both the Nova and National Ignition Facility laser projects, as well as the Petawatt, the world’s most powerful laser at the time.
Powell was a co-recipient of three R&D 100 Awards for laser research.
A scholarship in Powell’s name has been established at the California Institute of Technology, where Powell earned his bachelor’s degree in physics. He earned a Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Cornell University in 1971.