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Gisele Bennett

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Gisele Bennett is a founding and managing member of MEPSS LLC, a startup software company servicing first responders internationally. Bennett has held academic, industry, and research positions for over 30 years. These positions include Senior VP for Strategic and Research Initiatives and Professor at Florida Tech and numerous positions at Georgia Tech. At Georgia Tech, she held the positions of Regents’ Researcher (a position nominated by the President and approved by the Board of Regents), Associate Vice President for Research, Faculty Integration, and Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and was responsible for increasing research collaboration between academic and applied research. At the Georgia Tech Research Institute, she held the Glenn Robinson Chair in Electro-Optics, founded the Logistics and Maintenance Applied Research Center, and as the Director for the Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory, led the growth of the research portfolio from industry and DoD sponsored to $50M a year in research funding in the areas of optical imaging systems, EO modeling, and simulation, LIDAR development for sensing, Active-EO Systems development, and IoT sensor system development.

Bennett is a member of the Army Science Board and on the Board of Trustees for Riverside Research Institute. She is a Fellow with Optica (formerly OSA) and SPIE and a Senior Member of the IEEE. She is the Editor-in-Chief for Applied Optics, is past President of the IEEE Council on RFID, and serves on the Strategic Planning Council for Optica. She was elected to the position of 2018-2020 Director at Large on the Optica Board of Directors. She has been a feature editor and topical editor for Applied Optics, has been a feature editor for Optical Engineering, and an associate editor for International Journal of RF Technologies:  Research and Applications. She is a visiting lecturer for SPIE and Optica. She has served as a research proposal reviewer for the National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) and a reviewer for numerous referred journals. She is one of the first ten fellows chosen for Georgia Tech’s University Leadership program. She has received awards including the Superior Civilian Service Medal, Department of the Army (2019), the second highest award of the Department of the Army, and the Commander’s Award for Public Service, Department of the Army (2018). She has over 130 publications in books or book chapters, refereed journals, technical reports, and workshops. 

Her research interests are broad and include coherence theory applications to optical imaging systems, atmospheric turbulence and wave propagation, RFID, decision support systems, and secure supply chain technologies. She holds patents for Integrated Sensor Radio Frequency Identification (ISRFID) with Location and for container security devices, and a copyright on a computer model for Wave Propagation through the atmosphere. She has been involved in projects that involve international collaboration with funding from DoD, DHS, and industry. She has a PhD in Electrical Engineering and a certificate in Management of Technology from Georgia Tech. She is an instrument rated single engine-land private pilot.


Election Statement

In the late 1980s, leading experts in the field of atmospheric turbulence encouraged me to submit a paper to the annual OSA meeting. That submission began my long involvement with OSA, now Optica. Decades later, the quality of Optica remains strong and the network of scientists and engineers is invaluable.

My many volunteer hours have certainly been worthwhile to me, and I hope to Optica as well. I have gained new friends and colleagues because of the Optica connection, through committees, conferences, publications and networking events. My volunteer efforts include editor-in-chief for Applied Optics (current); member, Strategic Planning Committee (current) member, Board of Editors (current); Board of Directors (2018–2020); division chair for Information Acquisition, Processing and Display, and thus Board of Meetings representative (2016–2018); Imaging Congress chair; topical-meeting committee chair and member; Fredric Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize Award Committee, Forman Engineering Excellence Award Committee and Esther Hoffman Beller Award Committee (chair and member); publications reviewer; and Optica Traveling Lecturer.

I managed a large rapidly growing applied research lab at Georgia Tech. The growth of that lab was caused by quality researchers with a passion for making a difference. I created an environment for interdisciplinary research with a diverse group of motivated researchers. The researchers came from different disciplines with backgrounds in physics, engineering, math, chemistry, business, atmospheric science and international affairs. We had multiple generations in our workforce. The composition of my former lab is very similar to that of Optica—except Optica has a global reach.

If elected, my priorities will be:

Increase mentorship opportunities. I believe that supporting and providing a fertile environment for mentorship is critical for professional and personal growth and for the overall success of our organization and individual members. Such relationships benefit the mentor and mentee. Mentors have an opportunity to reach a global community which multiplies the impact and legacy of their work. Mentees gain opportunities to enhance their skills, create networks and leverage the experience of expanding their network beyond their immediate connections.  I want to create an opportunity for mentors and mentees to connect through Optica.

Increase educational opportunities. Access to educational material is vital to professional growth for our society and individual members. As professionals we must continue to learn or atrophy. We have transitioned into a lifelong-learning environment that enables growth and career-path pivots. Creating and making educational material accessible to the membership is an opportunity to leverage Optica’s global expertise and to reach a global audience. We can open the aperture for both practicing professionals and future scientists and engineers through expanding our educational offerings.

Document Created: 1 Jan 0001
Last Updated: 1 Jan 0001

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