About SVC

In Memoriam

We wish to honor the passing of those who have been part of the SVC community and who have served the Society.  SVC Mentors, short tutorial instructors, TAC Chairs, Board members, and those who have been interviewed for oral histories will be remembered.  Please send “In Memoriam” information to the SVC Administrative Office at svcinfo@svc.org.

Neil Myron Poley 1934-2015

J.A. "George" Dobrowlski 1931-2013

John Reading 1931-2009

David Cushing 1941-2009

Bernard Henry 1965-2007

Charles Carniglia 1944-2006

George Culhane Lane 1935-2005

Ted Van Vorous 1929-2004

Philip Werner Baumeister 1929-2003

Richard A. Denton 1914-2003


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Neil Myron Poley 1934 – 2015

Neil Myron Poley passed away at home on July 4, 2015, at the age of 80. He was a graduate of Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn with a BS, and SUNY New Paltz with an MA, both in chemical engineering. He put that knowledge to work at IBM for 25 years.

In his professional pursuits, Mr. Poley earned 13 patents and 6 patent level awards while working for IBM in the areas of display technology and thin film deposition. He also served as the President of Society of Vacuum Coaters from 1986-1888. He won an IBM Outstanding Contribution Award, an honor of very high distinction within the company. He was a member of the American Vacuum Society as well as a member of the Electrochemical Society.

Born in Kingston, NY in 1934, Neil was the son of Dr. Philip and Mrs. Ida Poley. He served as a sergeant in the US Army in Korea and Hawaii from 1953-55, and was an active participant in every community in which he lived.

Neil is survived by his beloved wife, Ruth Gerard Poley, and his two sons Philip and Samuel, their wives Denise and Stephanie, and his grandson Porter.

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J.A. "George" Dobrowolski  1931 – 2013

Jerzy 'George' Adam Dobrowolski long time supporter of the Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC) and SVC Sugerman Awardee passed away peacefully on the 12th of February in Ottawa, Canada surrounded by his family. George reached 81 years of age and was an active Mentor and Teacher until the end.

George was a well-known pioneer in the field of optical thin films, and worked for his entire professional career at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). George was the author of over 190 papers, over 30 patents and 8 review chapters in books.

George faithfully attended the SVC TechCon for decades and participated in the SVC as a Speaker, Short Course Instructor, and was a prominent and devoted member of the SVC Optical Technical Advisory Committee.



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John Reading  1931 – 2009

SVC is saddened to learn of the death in October 2009 of John Reading, a long-time supporter and friend of the Society.

Born and educated in the United Kingdom, Reading emigrated to the United States in 1956. Retired since 1993, he continued serving as a consultant to Tico Titanium Inc., in Michigan, where he worked for 20 years, representing the company at Trade Shows, Technical Conferences, and serving on various technical committees.

An avid fan of scotch, his collection includes more than 500 bottles, plus another 50 to 60 bottles earmarked for drinking. As a director of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America in Sunrise, FL, he attended and oversaw many Scotch Tastings, including those held in conjunction with the annual SVC Technical Conference. John particularly enjoyed collaborating with chefs at restaurants and private clubs to present Scotch Tasting/Dinners.



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David Cushing 1941 – 2009

David Cushing began his career working in the thin film field as a production technician in a small lab processing cemented all-dielectric filters made by one of the pioneers in the business, Edgar Barr, at Baird Atomic Inc. This work allowed him to attend Northeastern University in a part time program that took nine years to complete and he attained a BSEE degree in 1969. Eventually, he was given responsibility for the manufacture of ultra-violet filters. This led to establishing improved methods of filter assembly. David further advanced to supervisor of all filter production for the now-10 person group. He later became Filter Department Manager (1965-1971) for the expanding group that eventually contained 50 people. For a five month period in 1969, he left to join General Laser Corp where he learned methods of coating laser optics for the visible and IR regions utilizing electron-beam equipment.

David then went on to establish MicroCoatings, Inc., a two-person partnership for the production of filters for medical electronics and defense. The company purchased obsolete vacuum chambers and rebuilt them to manufacture (utilizing thermal evaporation) production quantity optical filters for many applications, such as laser range finders, semi-conductor lithography systems, printers, flame photometers, blood testers, and supermarket scanners. The company was sold in 1986 and became OCA, where David continued as Technical Director until 1990.

David joined JDS Fitel Optics (1990-2001) and formed a Filter Department. He designed and fabricated a thermal vapor deposition coater specifically to make WDM filters. The coating machine was subsequently set up in Ottawa, Canada and manufacturing of the first (worldwide) production filters for WDMs commenced.


In 2001, David joined the Corning Precision Lens team to head their thin film R&D effort. Filters and anti-reflection coatings and miscellaneous special purpose coatings were designed and manufactured as needed.   David retired to Tucson, AZ in 2004 where he was a thin film consultant in the optical coating field. He was a Visiting Scientist at the University of Arizona and authored papers on a variety of filter types. He held 7 U.S. patents and a number of world patents.

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Bernard Henry 1965 – 2007

Dr. Bernard Martin Henry passed away on February 4, 2007 at the age of 42.  His death was a shock to all of us and with him the community of vacuum coaters lost a great researcher, and inspirational teacher and a good friend.

Dr. Henry was born on January 16, 1965 and grew up in Acton, London, England. In his youth he excelled in the athletic field, especially track & field and soccer. Upon finishing high school he was offered a contract at F.C. Chelsea, a major league soccer club. However, since the club could not guarantee him a spot on the team, his mother insisted that he learn a “real job” first and go to college. Bernhard Henry obeyed and studied at the Imperial College, University of London, where he went all the way to earn his Ph.D. in Materials Science.

I first met Bernard in 1998 at the SVC Annual Technical Conference in Boston. Since we both worked in the same field – barrier coatings on flexible substrates – there was a mutual interest in each other’s work and so a long friendship developed. There were many endless discussions about the topic, and I personally learned a lot about barrier technology through these talks. Bernard took a somewhat different approach to the study of this technology than most of us, as could be witnessed in the many publications he presented at SVC and AIMCAL conferences. His interest in the fundamental thermodynamics of the diffusion of gases through the coatings and substrates certainly helped explain to us “industrial guys” many of the strange effects we observed in the field. I still very vividly remember our “chicken wings” dinner one night at the AIMCAL conference in the fall of 2001, during which we had a long discussion about the fundamentals of barrier technology. This discussion ultimately led to the decision to put together a paper on the "Basics of Barrier Technology,” which Bernard later, with great success, developed into the class given during the AIMCAL Summer School and as a short tutorial at the SVC Technical Conferences.

Bernard was active to bring research on barrier and nanotechnology to the University of Oxford, and he was instrumental in the installation of the roll-to-roll vacuum metallizer at Oxford’s Materials Research Center. For many years he was active in the Oxford – Toppan Research Centre, a collaboration between the Oxford University and the Toppan Printing Co., where he put a major emphasis onto the study of transparent oxide coatings. Bernard was a true gentleman; humble, always with a smile and friendly at heart. Even though he traveled the world for his work and studies he never forgot where he came from. He kept his personal life very private, and it was only at his funeral that we learned about his activities in his home community, which he never left. Bernard commuted between Oxford and London, so he could devote his free time to coach underprivileged children. By the same token his family and friends at home barely learned about his work; many were surprised to learn about the respect and friendships Bernard had around the world.

I am honored to have known Bernard and to be able to call him a friend. - Wolfgang Decker

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Charles Carniglia 1944 – 2006

Dr. Charles Keith ‘‘Chuck’’ Carniglia, gifted Teacher, Scientist and Technologist passed away after an extended illness in Santa Rosa, CA on December 21, 2006. Chuck earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1966 in engineering mathematics and received his Ph.D. in optics from the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester in 1971. His achievements span from theoretical studies of the Goos- Haenchen effect to practical coatings for many important US Projects such as the DOE NOVA Laser. His group’s implementations of novel arc suppression techniques advanced the state of the art and produced films with improved properties. He was intrigued with computer aided design and analysis of optical thin films. In 1987, he founded Thin Film Designer Software, a company that marketed a thinfilm optimization and analysis program still in use today.

Throughout his career, his forte was teaching, for which he had a remarkable talent and passion. He started his career as Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Maine, Orono (UMO). He later taught upper division physics classes at Sonoma State University. For almost 20 years, he was a faculty member for a tutorial on thin-film coating design as part of the University of Rochester’s Contemporary Optics Summer Program.

In 1977, he began work in the research department at Optical Coating Laboratory Inc. (OCLI - now JDSU) working on thin film technology. An area of focus was on coatings used in high energy laser systems. From 1985-94, Chuck worked in the Developmental Optics Facility (DOF) at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M. Someof his work included developing key laser damage resistant coatings for the chemical oxygen iodine laser. He also made significant contributions in the area of rugate filter design during that time and developed techniques for analyzing inhomogeneous films using ellipsometry and spectrophotometry. In 1994, he returned to California to become the manager of the Advanced Technology Group at Airco Coating Technology, later BOC Coating Technology, where he implemented optical coating approaches for inline industrial glass coaters. His work took him full circle when he returned to OCLI in Santa Rosa to the position of Chief Scientist. Heavily involved in training, he also participated in advanced coating design activities and assisted with coating the 6-foot conformal window for the Airborne Laser.

He was a long-standing member and participant of the Optical Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC). He was elected a fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) in 1988. He published 80 peer-reviewed papers in journals in his field. Chuck held five patents with one patent pending.

Chuck was a gentleman and a gentle man; he will be remembered as much for his humor and smiling friendly demeanor, and his willingness to help others, as for his numerous contributions to optics and thin film technology.

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George Culhane Lane 1935–2005

George Culhane Lane, of Danbury, Connecticut, Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Newport, RI passed away at his home in Fort Lauderdale on December 28, 2005. Born in Danbury, Connecticut on December 31, 1935 he was the son of the late David M. Lane, Sr. and Florence Culhane-Lane, and the brother of the late David M. Lane, Jr., all of Danbury, Connecticut. He graduated from Danbury High School in 1952. In 1958 he received a degree in Pharmacology from the University of Connecticut. He worked as a research chemist at Reeves Soundcraft, Inc. and later became director of development at the Schick Razor Blade Company in Milford, CT. He held several patents involving processes for coating razor blades with chromium. After forming his own company, American Vacuum Process, he consulted in his field at numerous corporations in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He was a member of the American Vacuum Society (AVS). George was a past Board member of the Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC). He developed the SVC Education Program from its inception. He was a member of SVC for over 40 years and served on several different committees. He was the recipient of an SVC Inaugural Mentor Award in 2002. George was an avid skier, photographer, and master boatman who sailed the waters of Candlewood Lake, Newport Harbour, and the Florida coast on his 29 foot Erikson, Troldhagen. His beloved Dalmatians Spike and Liza always accompanied him in his later years. He is survived by his sister-in-law Mary Ellen Wolff of Danbury and Naples, FL; nieces Catherine Lane of New Milford, Jeanne Katz of Brookfield, Patricia Salvatore of Danbury; and grandnieces Sarah and Danielle Katz of Brookfield. A Memorial Service for George was held on January 7 at the Kraeer Funeral Home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A Memorial service was also held on January 29th at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Danbury, Danbury, Connecticut. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Danbury Animal Welfare Society or the ALS Foundation.

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Ted Van Vorous 1929–2004

Inventor and scientist, Ted Van Vorous died of natural causes February 22, 2004, at age 75.  He is survived by four sons: David, Lon, Rick, and Peter, and a daughter, Lisa. 

Van Vorous earned a master's degree in geochemistry and in material sciences from Montana State University in Missoula.  He served in the Army Air Forces and the U.S. Air Force from 1946 to 1949.  He married Mary Tuttle, an artist, in 1951 in Canada, and they moved to Boulder in 1956.  While he was a chemist for Dow Chemical at Rocky Flats during the late 1950s and 1960s, he began working on a thin-film coating process for the government.  He left Dow in 1968 to start his own company, Vacuum Technology Associates Inc., out of his Boulder home.  He teamed up with his former Dow colleague John Chapin in the early 1970s to perfect the sputtering process.  He found markets for his products and opened offices in Hong Kong, India, and England.  He remained a self-employed entrepreneur until he retired in 2000, after his wife died of emphysema.

Van Vorous is responsible for creating a process to deposit a protective film coating on items such as compact discs and mirrored sunglasses.  He held a patent on the process and on several other inventions, such as X-ray tubes and vacuum bottles.  His work on the planar magnetron made it possible to apply a thin film coating to things such as windows, computer screens, and computer chips.

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Philip Werner Baumeister 1929–2003

Professor Philip Baumeister passed away peacefully at his home in Sebastopol, California, on October 22 surrounded by family.  He is survived by his wife Nancy and three daughters: Nancy, Lynn, and Carole.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford in 1950, master’s degree from Stanford in 1951, and a doctorate in Physics in 1959 from Berkeley.  He taught for nearly 20 years at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics and was widely published.  He went on to be Chief Scientist at OCLI in Santa Rosa and a Manufacturing Engineer at Deposition Sciences and Coherent.

He was a leader in the optics thin films field and helped to create and nurture this industry.  He developed key design and production techniques for optical thin film coatings.  He was a pioneer in the use of computers to design optical coatings and was the first to apply numerical optimization methods.  He authored more than 60 publications, was a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, and a short tutorial instructor for the Society of Vacuum Coaters.  His book on Optical Coating Technology is currently in production and will be published by SPIE in early 2004.

(Click here to read a transcript of a oral history interview with Phil Baumeister.)

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Richard A. Denton 1914–2003

Richard Denton was born in Providence, Rhode Island.  He passed away on December 17, 2003 at his home in New Jersey.  He is survived by his wife Virginia; two daughters, Patricia and Judith; and one son, Peter.

Richard Denton was well known as a pioneer in the vacuum technology and optical films industries.  He started his career after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1936 and master’s degrees in Economics and Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1937.  In 1942, he went to work for the Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia to support the war effort.  He was in charge of developing the technology and production equipment for optical coating of precision optics for the United States Army during World War II.

After World War II, he founded the Optical Film Engineering Company in Philadelphia.  The company produced high vacuum deposition equipment and provided optical coating services.  This company was sold to Kinney Vacuum in 1956.  In 1964, Mr. Denton founded Denton Vacuum Inc. in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  Mr. Denton was a key founder of the American Vacuum Society (AVS) and founder of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the AVS and the Optical Society of America.  He holds many patents in the thin film technology field and was the first to introduce commercial chemical optical coating to North America in the early 1970s.  In 1995, he received the Nathaniel Sugerman award from the Society of Vacuum Coaters for his entrepreneurial spirit and pioneering activities in his industry.

(Click here to read a transcript of a oral history interview with Richard Denton.)








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