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2019 PECASE - Laura Sinclair

Headshot of Laura Sinclair

For creating a suite of some of the world’s best optical tools to bring precision measurement out of well-controlled laboratory environments and into the field for such applications as long-distance time transfer and detection of airborne contaminants in turbulent environments.

Dr. Laura Sinclair is recognized for pioneering robust optical tools that offer dramatic improvements in precision, stability, speed, low-light-level operation, multiplexing, and flexibility to a host of critical applications. Her impressive invention of a compact optically coherent fiber frequency comb is the first to operate 24/7 without human intervention, and because it can be constructed from commercially available off-the-shelf parts it is enabling universities and small companies to build precision metrology tools at roughly a fifth the price of larger, less robust commercial systems. In addition to her technical contributions she has an impressive public service record: she has served with the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group since 2008, with which she assisted victims of the 2013 Colorado Front Range Flood where over 1600 people were evacuated and 262 homes were destroyed; mentors students; serves on technical committees; and leads an informal group of women in science at NIST.

Created July 24, 2019, Updated December 2, 2021