Robert Alan Reisse received both his Master’s (1970) and Doctorate (1976) degrees in physics from the University of Maryland, College Park. He spent his early career focusing on the use of light in various applications to advance technology goals. Eventually this led to work with the US Naval Research Laboratory on a series of space projects involving optics. One project advanced the understanding of the effects of imaging through the atmosphere, which led to the current use of deformable mirrors to compensate for the distortion that the atmosphere plays in astronomical imaging. Another project imaged the moon in 11 spectral bands, providing astronomers with a detailed understanding of the moon's surface chemistry. This work led to a career with NASA at the Langley Research Center where he worked on several projects, the most significant being a system involving the use of lasers to determine the configuration of any planetary surface to enable safe landings.
Bob’s career has led him to appreciate the importance of a good education in any of the various science and technology areas within CMNS in order to continue to advance scientific knowledge as the world progresses. He wishes to honor the memory of his son, Andrew S. Reisse, who received his Bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics in 2001 at the University of Maryland, College Park and worked in many aspects of programming before joining the Oculus virtual reality startup as the key software engineer. Andrew’s love of nature and his concern for the environment should inspire everyone to work towards making the world a better place. His untimely death in 2013 has inspired Bob to continue to support the education of promising students who make a difference as they pursue their goals.