Henry Kapteyn ’82 Elected NAS Member

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Harvey Mudd College alumnus Henry Kapteyn ’82 has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences.

Members are elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.

Kapteyn is best known for his research in femtosecond lasers. With his wife, Margaret, he created a tabletop X-ray laser and applied it to pioneering studies of material behavior.

He is a founding member of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center in Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology and co-founder of KMLabs, a successful laser company. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In 1999, he joined the faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he is professor of physics. Kapteyn earned his B.S. in physics from HMC, his master’s from Princeton University and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.

His awards include the Adolph Lomb Medal (1993), the Ahmed Zewail Award in Ultrafast Science and Technology (2009), the R.W. Wood Prize (2010), the Arthur Schawlow Prize (2010) and the Willis Lamb Award in Quantum Electronics (2012).

In May, Kapteyn received an HMC Outstanding Alumni Award from the HMC Alumni Association Board of Governors for his contributions to science and society.