Dr. James Hadaway

Principal Research Scientist IV, S2, Center for Applied Optics


Dr. James B. Hadaway received his BS in Physics and his MS in Applied Physics, specializing in optics, from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1984 and 1987, respectively. He completed his PhD in Optical Science & Engineering at UAH in 2004, while a full-time employee of the CAO. He has 17 years of experience in the optical design, fabrication, and testing of high-performance optical systems. Dr. Hadaway joined UAH and the CAO as a Senior Research Associate in 1987, was promoted to Research Scientist in 1993, and Senior Research Scientist in 2001. He has been pivotal in the design of numerous optical systems, including a normal incidence x-ray telescope for solar imaging, a solar vector magnetograph, missile seekers, an infrared scene projector, and an orbiting nighttime cloud imager. He led the efforts to design, fabricate and test a computer controlled, on-axis, all-reflective zoom telescope and a large-aperture, ultra-light weight collimator for an Army test set. He led the fabrication effort for the flight mirrors of NASA's UltraViolet Imager (UVI), which is currently in operation aboard the POLAR spacecraft. He conceived, designed, fabricated, tested, and flew (aboard the MIR space station) the first Total Integrated Scatter (TIS) instrument for in-space optical properties monitoring. Dr. Hadaway also designed, fabricated, and tested an automated instrument to measure ophthalmic lens quality and to predict patient visual acuity thru measurement of the lens MTF. He and his colleagues at UAH received a patent for the device. More recently he has been heavily involved in NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) program. He led the government optical design team during early feasibility studies, and is now leading the optical test team for cryogenic testing of JWST technology development mirrors. Dr. Hadaway has authored over 50 papers. He is a member of both OSA and SPIE.


  • Ph.D., Optical Science and Engineering, University of Alabama in Huntsville, 2004
  • M.S., Applied Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1987
  • B.S., Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1984