Dr. Joseph Geary

Principal Research Scientist I, S2, Center for Applied Opticsin memoriam


Dr. Joseph Geary received his BA in physics from LaSalle College in 1966, and his MS and Ph.D., both in optics, from the University of Arizona's Optical Sciences Center in 1975 and 1984 respectively. He has 37 year of broad-based experience in optics. Dr. Geary spent 18 years in government service. This includes 8 years in aerial reconnaissance at the Naval Air Development Center (Warminster, PA); 2 years in medical imaging at the Bureau of Radiological Health (Rockville, MD); 8 years in HELs (specifically the Airborne Laser Lab) at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory (Albuquerque, MN). After leaving civil service in 1985, Dr. Geary joined the staff of United Technologies Optical Systems (West Palm, Fl and WSMR, NM) where he worked on advanced optical metrology and HEL beam diagnostics (for the MIRACL laser) respectively. In 1991 he joined Swales Aerospace (Beltsville, MD) to become manager of their optics group which supported spaceborne optical instrumentation for Goddard Space Flight Center. One significant mission during this period was the group's involvement in the Hubble Recovery Program. In 1996 Dr. Geary joined the senior research staff of the Center for Applied Optics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. His principal activities are in the areas of optical testing, optical metrology, wavefront sensors, lens and optical system design. He has had heavy involvement with the metrology issues surrounding the James Webb Space Telescope. Dr. Geary teaches graduate courses in optical testing and lens design. In the fall of 2003 Dr. Geary became the Interim Director of the CAO. Dr. Geary has authored over 43 papers in referred journals, has written 3 books, and holds 10 patents. He is a member of SPIE.


  • Ph.D., Optics, University of Arizona, 1984
  • M.S., Optics, University of Arizona, 1975
  • B.A., Physics, LaSalle College, 1966