2024 Investiture Information

Elsa Garmire

Sydney E. Junkins 1887 Professor of Engineering, Emerita

Research Interests

Non-linear optics; integrated optics and semiconductor photonic devices; lasers; electro-optics; fiber optics


  • AB, Physics, Harvard University 1961
  • PhD, Physics, MIT 1965


  • National Academy of Inventors® (NAI) Charter Fellow (2014)
  • National Associate of the National Academies (2004)
  • Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1996)
  • Fellow, American Physical Society (1994)
  • Life Member, National Academy of Engineering (1989)
  • Fellow and Life Member, Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (1980)
  • Fellow. Optical Society of America (1981)
  • Achievement Award and Fellow, Society of Women Engineers (1994)

Professional Activities

  • President, Optical Society of America 1995
  • Presidential Medal of Science Selection Committee 1996-1998
  • Councillor, National Academy of Engineering 2002-2008
  • Chair, National Academy Committee to Assess Technological Literacy 2002-2006
  • Councilor at Large, American Physical Society 1995-1997
  • Councillor, IEEE Lasers and Electro-optics Society 1984-1987
  • Director-at-Large, Optical Society of America 1983-1986
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, U. C. Berkeley 1999-2000
  • Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, 1985-1989
  • Harvard University Division of Engineering and Applied Physics Visiting Committee 1989-1995


  • Thayer School faculty since 1995
  • Dean, Thayer School of Engineering 1995-1997
  • William Hogue Professor of Electrical Engineering; Professor of Physics; and Director, Center for Laser Studies: University of Southern California 1975-1995
  • Consultant, The Aerospace Corporation 1975-1992
  • Visiting Scientist, Thomson CSF, France 1974
  • Visiting Scientist, ITT Standard Telecom Labs 1973-1974
  • Senior Research Fellow, Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology 1966-1973

Selected Publications

  • "Optical vibration detection with a photoconductance monitoring array," (P. Heinz and E. Garmire) Applied Physics Letters 84 (16): 3196-3198 APR 19 2004
  • "Speed enhancement in a photorefractive multiple quantum well modulator by pulsed illumination," (A. K. Abeeluck, P. Heinz and E. Garmire) Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, (3), pp. 311-313 (2001).
  • "Resonant optical nonlinearities in semiconductors," (E. Garmire) IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron 6 (#6), pp. 1094-1110 (2000). INVITED REVIEW PAPER, in the "Millennium Issue"
  • "Wavelength dependence of combined local and carrier transport optical nonlinearities in a hetero n-i-p-i structure" (A. R. Kost, M. H. Jupina, T. C. Hasenberg and E. M. Garmire) J. of Appl. Phys. 99 (2): Art. No. 023501 Jan. 15, 2006
  • "Design and measurement of a multiple quantum well nipi wavguide modulator for optoelectronic integrated circuits" S.D. Koehler, E.M. Garmire, A.R. Kost, D. Yap, E.P. Docter, T.C. Hasenberg, IEEE J. Quantum Electron 32, 1029-1038 (1996).

In the News

NH Union Leader
First lady of lasers
Jun 14, 2016
Science Friday
When Laser Science Was 'Far Out'
Apr 26, 2016
Chemical and Engineering News
Clueless On Tech Literacy of U.S. Citizens
Mar 07, 2011
Kansas City Infozine (Missouri)
Technological Literacy of U.S. Population Not Well-Assessed
Mar 07, 2011
The Dartmouth
Prof. discusses work at State Dept.
Mar 07, 2011