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2016 Hall of Fame

B.S. Physics '83, B.S. Mathematics '83, M.S. Physics '85, Ph.D. Physics '87

Dr. Gregory James Quarles is an experienced Chief Executive Officer, Board Member and renowned physicist with 25 years of experience driving cutting-edge laser, optics and photonics technology development and operations globally. Dr. Quarles attended OSU after receiving the Carl and Gladys Herrington President’s Distinguished Scholarship in 1979. He earned a dual B.S. in Mathematics and Physics in 1983, and remained at OSU to earn both his M.S. (1985) and Ph.D. (1987) in Physics, with Dr. Richard C. Powell as his mentor and thesis advisor. His graduate studies were supported by the Lewis Cory Distinguished Endowed Graduate Fellowship and an Air Force Weapons Laboratory/American Society for Engineering Education Fellowship. His graduate research focused on the interaction of laser light with defects in crystalline materials.


Dr. Quarles has led strategic partnerships with multiple agencies including the Departments of Defense, Energy and Commerce, NASA and the U.S. Congress. He has been honored for his innovative work in the progression of global materials research, specifically developing new laser devices for medical, military and industrial applications. For this work, he was elected as a Fellow for both The Optical Society and SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics. In 2015, he was awarded the Memorial D.S. Rozhdestvensky Medal by the Russian Optical Society. The past four years he has interacted with global leaders on six continents in the optics, photonics, and academic communities discussing education policy and STEM opportunities. He has been awarded five patents related to solid-state lasers, has presented and published over 150 peer-reviewed and conference publications & invited lectures, published three book chapters, and served as Assistant Editor for Optical Engineering and the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics.


Dr. Quarles is currently the Chief Scientific Officer for The Optical Society (OSA) in Washington, D.C. The Optical Society, which celebrates its centennial in 2016, is the professional home to over 19,000 accomplished science, engineering, and business leaders from around the world. Prior to OSA, he served as CEO at B. E. Meyers, Opto-Electronics Management Network, and was a founder and COO at EdgeLight Incorporated, a wearable light-therapy enterprise in Tucson, Arizona. His previous leadership and work experience includes serving on eight corporate and not-for-profit Boards, II-VI Incorporated, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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