In Memoriam: Alson E. Hatheway


A note from SPIE:

SPIE Fellow Alson E. Hatheway, an expert in optomechanical engineering technologies, and President of Alson E. Hatheway Inc, passed away October 20. He was a friend, and mentor, to many in the industry and will be dearly missed.

Hatheway’s areas of expertise included science and technology policy, management, technical education, technology commercialization, consortial research, and development activities.

An SPIE member since 1995, Hatheway was a chair of the International Technical Group on Optomechanics and chair for the conference on Optomechanical Engineering at SPIE Optics + Photonics. Hatheway also taught two short courses for SPIE — “Optomechanical Analysis” and “Optomechanics and the Tolerancing of Instruments.”

He was also a Fellow and Past President of the Optical Society of Southern California (OSSC).

“Al was a great mentor and a greater friend,” says Harvey M. Spencer, Director of Optical Engineering at Leonardo DRS. “He worked as a consultant on many programs at DRS, and together we solved many hardware problems. Whenever we had an issue with shock, vibration, alignment, or glass breaking, I got Al on board.”

Spencer adds that Hatheway truly took joy in his work. 

“He was a fixture at our meetings and in the leadership of the OSSC,” says Spencer. “His diligent work as Fellows Chairman will always be remembered and appreciated. His enthusiastic announcements at the beginning of our meetings for upcoming conferences that he chaired for OSA and SPIE were classic. The email blast ‘Optomechanics,’ that he often sent out, was a pleasure to read — usually starting with something like ‘Here, here.’ 

“In an ‘Optomechanics’ from 2012, he wrote, ‘And each of you has been a stimulus, a catalyst and a joy to have as a friend and a colleague. Now, all of you, step forward and take a bow (or two or three). (Deafening applause.) Thank you all for allowing me to participate in your adventures…'”

Read Al’s bio from the OSSC.