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ICO Awards

Prof. Carlos Gomez-Reino Carnota (1946-2012)

ICO mourns the passing away of Prof. Carlos Gómez-Reino Carnota.

photo Carlos Gomez-Reino Carnota, Professor of Optics at the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), passed away the 25th July, 2012 due to a sudden illness. He was the representative of the Spanish ICO Territorial Committee during the period 2001-2004.He belonged to the leaders that promoted the establishment of the series of Spanish National Meeting on Optics (RNO), and organized the second meeting of the series in 1990. At ICO’11 in Quebec, the idea of creating a new Iberian American Meeting was proposed. Carlos was very supportive of the idea and the Third Spanish Meeting joined indeed with the 1st RIAO, celebrated in 1992 in Barcelona. 

Six years later when the Iberian American community saw the need of joining RIAO and OPTILAS (The Latin American Meeting on Optics, Lasers and applications), Carlos supported the initiative. Since then the Spanish research community in Optics have a well-established three year periodicity for national, regional, and ICO General Meetings. Carlos was member of the Spanish Royal Society of Physics and member of its Editorial Council.

For those who worked with him daily, we have lost a colleague, a friend, someone we trusted completely and who gave us the opportunity to start our careers in the world of teaching and researching, in short, a true master. It is difficult to summarize in a few lines the life and career of Carlos. Carlos was born the 1st of September 1946 in Pontevedra, Spain. He left this town when he was one year old moving to Madrid with his family. He graduated in Physics from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) in 1968, obtaining a PhD in Physics (receiving a special award of PhD) from the same university in 1975. He joined the Department of Optics of the UCM, headed in that moment by Professor Armando Durán Miranda, one of the pioneers of researching in Optics and Vision in our country. During the 70s and with a group of young researchers, scholars and teachers among whom was his wife, Maria Victoria Perez Martin (USC Professor, died the 22th of May 2010), Carlos began to improve and upgrade the optics lab, opening new researching lines on holography and interferometry.

In 1979, the couple Carlos-M.Victoria moved to the USC. At that time there was not in the Physics section any group devoted to the field of Optics. During his early years spent in Santiago, they launched the first Optics laboratory for students and began to develop a research laboratory on Optics. Their efforts are now reflected in a front row research laboratory. His main areas of research were: GRIN optics, zone plates, physiological optics, spatial and temporal Optics, Laser Treatment of materials, being principal investigator on research projects nationally and internationally. As a researcher was really bright, as evidenced by the more than a hundred publications in international journals, a book titled "Gradient Index Optics: Fundamentals and Applications" published by Springer-Verlag in 2002, several book chapters and patents. His excellence in research was recognized by the Optical Society of America who appointed him OSA Fellow for his contribution to the progress in Optics. He was member of national and international scientific associations as SEDO, OSA and SPIE. Carlos held important management positions, in July 1989; he was appointed Director of the Professional School of Ophthalmic Optics and Acoustics Audiometric USC in order to carry out the transformation of the Professional School in School University. From 1994 to 1998 he was Vice-Chancellor of the USC. In the last years, he collaborated with several quality agencies for the assessment of the excellence of teaching staff and Spanish degrees. Carlos was a friendly person with great hobbies like reading, listening music, swimming and sailing. Dear Carlos, we all owe you our sincere thanks for all you have taught us. You will always be in our memories. For all of us that worked with him throughout his life, and for the whole Spanish optics community, has passed away a part of the history of the Optics in Spain.

The ICO Community will miss him when meeting at the ICO General Assembly in 2014 in Santiago de Compostela, the site of his home institution.

Maite Flores Arias, Carmen Bao Varela,
University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain