Stanford University, 1993-95
Kumar Patel, who was 1993-95 president of Sigma Xi, is vice chancellor of research at the University of California at Los Angeles. Until March 1993, he was executive director of the Research, Materials Science, Engineering and Academic Affairs Division at AT&T Bell Laboratories. During his career at AT&T, which began in 1961, he made numerous seminal contributions in several fields, including gas lasers, nonlinear optics, molecular spectroscopy, pollution detection and laser surgery. He received his B.E. in Telecommunications in 1958 from the College of Engineering in Poona, India, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1959 and 1961, respectively. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, Patel has received numerous honors, including the National Medal of Science, for his invention of the carbon dioxide laser, a major scientific and technological breakthrough that continues to be an important tool in manufacturing, medical treatment, scientific investigation and materials processing. He has also received the Lomb Medal of the Optical Society of America, the Franklin Institute's Ballantine Medal, the Pake Prize of the American Physical Society and the Coblentz Society's Coblentz Prize. He co-chaired the American Physical Society study of the science and technology of directed energy weapons. He also is immediate past president of the American Physical Society.