Skip To Content
Stephen D. Fantone Distinguished Service Award

The award was established as the Distinguished Service Award in 1973 in memory Stephen M. MacNeille who was involved in developing lasers for use in ophthalmology. It was renamed in 2013 to honor Stephen D. Fantone's commitment to the society.

Society Connection

Stephen M. MacNeille was a member of the Board of Directors from 1970 – 1972 and served as President of the New England Local Section. He was a Fellow.

Stephen D. Fantone has served in various leadership positions for over 20 years, including Treasurer from 1996 – 2013, Chair of the Strategic Planning Council, and 2018 Vice President. He is a Fellow.

American Optical Corporation

About Stephen M. MacNeille

MacNeille received his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1937. His research included work on positive-ion sources for large mass spectrographs, pile control instrumentation, separation of isotopes by diffusion and optical instruments.

His career included positions at Eastman Kodak Company and Monsanto Chemical Company. At the time of his death, he was the chief scientist for American Optical Corporation.

As a member of the board, MacNeille was working on the finance committee, was Chairman of the C.E.K. Mees Medal committee and was recommended by the executive committee to represent the society on the Pensions for Professionals Advisory Board. He was also the society's corporate associate representative to the American Institute of Physics. He died on 23 March 1972.

About Stephen D. Fantone

Fantone has served in various leadership positions for over 20 years. He is a long-time society advocate and donor and has been a member for over 40 years.

He received his SB degrees in Electrical Engineering and Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his PhD from The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. His work there was under the supervision of Prof. Duncan T. Moore. While completing his PhD, Fantone joined Polaroid Corporation, where he worked on the development of Polaroid products and related technology, both as an employee and later through services provided by his company, Optikos. He has been a Senior Lecturer in the MIT Mechanical Engineering Department since 1995.

He is the founder and president of Optikos Corporation. Established in 1982, Optikos is an engineering and instrumentation firm that uses optics as an enabling technology for clients who are developing medical devices and diagnostics, virtual reality and consumer products, aerospace and defense systems, and automotive sensing and imaging applications.  Optikos also develops and markets metrology instruments that assess the quality of imaging systems.

Fantone is a Fellow. He has served on the Board of the Foundation since 2004, and chaired the society’s Strategic Planning Committee in 2018. He served as a Board Member for two decades and as Vice-Chair of the 2016 Centennial Advisory Panel.  As Treasurer, he chaired the Finance, Audit and Investment Committees, and during his 18-year tenure (through 2013), the society increased its financial reserves over 15-fold. He was also President of the society in 2020.

His experience with the society also includes serving as lens design Topical Editor for Applied Optics; and engagement with meetings and conferences including leadership roles with Optical Fabrication & Testing Workshops, the Engineering Council, the first LEAP program at CLEO, and the OF&T Technical Group. He served as President and Program Chair of the local Optica section and Optikos hosts a local Optica section meeting annually. In 2007, he received the Distinguished Service Award.

In addition to his work with the society, Fantone serves on the University of Rochester Dean’s Advisory Committee for the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and on the Director’s Advisory Committee at The Institute of Optics. He has received both the University’s Distinguished Alumnus and Distinguished Scholar Awards.

He serves on the Board of the Hertz Foundation and as Chairman of the Pioneer Institute, a Boston-based public policy think tank. Previous board membership included Zygo Corporation, Rofin-Sinar Technologies, Inc. and Benthos, Inc. (Chairman).  Fantone is often consulted for his expertise in optical engineering and optical product development. He has served on numerous program review panels, provided expert testimony on patent infringement and trade secret litigation cases, and been awarded over 65 patents covering a broad range of optical technologies.

Image for keeping the session alive