Aden B. Meinel

Founding Director, Optical Sciences Center
Professor Emeritus of Optical Sciences


Photo:  Professor Aden MeinelEducation

  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1949
  • A.B., University of California, Berkeley 1947





  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology: Retired Distinguished Scientist On Call, 19932011; Distinguished Scientist, 19871992; Senior Scientist, 19851987
  • The University of Arizona: Optical Sciences Center/College of Optical Sciences, Professor Emeritus, 19852011; Optical Sciences Center, Professor, 19731985; Optical Sciences Center, Director and Chairman, 19661973; Steward Observatory, Director, 19611966; Department of Astronomy, Professor, 19611973
  • Kitt Peak National Observatory: Director, 19581961
  • National Science Foundation: Executive Secretary, Advisory Committee, 19541958
  • Yerkes and McDonald Observatories: Associate Director, 19531956
  • University of Chicago: Associate Professor, 19501953; Research Associate, 19491950
  • United States Navy: Ensign, 19451946; Seaman, 1st Class, 19441945
  • California Institute of Technology: Research Associate, 19421944

Honors and Awards

  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, elected 1962
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, President, Rocky Mountain and Southwestern Division, 19641965
  • American Astronomical Society, Warner Prize, 1954; Council, 19591962
  • American Institute of Physics Governing Board, 19711973
  • Optical Society of Southern California
  • California Lutheran College, Convocator, 19611963; Regent, 19631971
  • Astronomical Society of the Republic of China, Honorary Member
  • International Astronomical Union, Member, Commission 44; Vice President, Commission 9, 19711973; President, Commission 9, 19731976
  • National Research Council, Division of Physical Sciences, 19721976
  • The Optical Society (OSA), Adolph Lomb Medal, 1952; Board of Directors, 19641968; Fellow, 1965; President-Elect, 19711972; President, 19721973; Ives Medal, 1980
  • U.S. Air Force Scroll of Appreciation, 1967
  • SPIE, Goddard Award, 1984; Fellow, 1988; Kingslake Medal and Award, 1993, Gold Medal, 1997
  • The University of Arizona, Honorary Doctor of Science, 1990
  • George van Biesbroeck Award for Services in Astronomy, 1990
  • NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, 1993
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow, 2006


  • Astrophysics, spectroscopy, upper atmospheric physics, glass technology, optical design, instrumentation, space systems, solar energy

Observatory Projects

  • McDonald Observatory, Fort Davis, Tex.: Associate Director; design supervision of construction and installation of the 36-inch telescope
  • Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, Ariz.: Executive Secretary in charge of site selection and design of 36-inch and 85-inch telescopes; Director in charge of construction and installation of telescopes, telescope auxiliaries and observatory buildings
  • Steward Observatory, Tucson, Ariz.: Director in charge of construction and relocation of the 36-inch telescope; design, construction and installation of the 94-inch telescope
  • Osmania University, Hyderabad, India: Foreign Advisor for completion of 48-inch telescope construction and installation
  • Optical Sciences Center: Director; conceptual design for the multiple mirror telescope (MMT), 186-inch equivalent aperture
  • National Central University, Chung-Li, Taiwan, Republic of China: Foreign Advisor for construction and installation of 24-inch telescope


  • D.L. Crawford, A.B. Meinel and Martha W. Stockton, eds., A Symposium on Support and Testing of Large Astronomical Mirrors, Optical Sciences Technical Report 30, July 1968, 252 pp.
  • A.B. Meinel, A.F. Aveni, and Martha W. Stockton, Catalog of Emission Lines in Astrophysical Objects, Optical Sciences Center Technical Report 27, June 1968, 195 pp.
  • A.B. Meinel and M.P. Meinel, Power for the People, McDonnell-Douglas Corporation, 1971, 280 pp.
  • A.B. Meinel and M.P. Meinel, Applied Solar Energy: An Introduction, Addison-Wesley, 1976, 650 pp.
  • A.B. Meinel and M.P. Meinel, Sunsets, Twilights, and Evenings Skies, Cambridge University Press, 1983, 163 pp.