Laser Institute of America was pleased to present its prestigious 2011 George M. Wilkening Award to Benjamin Rockwell, Ph.D. for his exceptional contributions to laser bioeffects research at the 2011 International Laser Safety Conference (ILSC®) in San Jose, California in March. Dr. Rockwell is a Principal Research Physicist in the Air Force Research Laboratory at Brooks City- Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Established in 1997, the award is named after the first ANSI Z136 Standards Committee Chairman George M. Wilkening. The award recognizes individuals who have made extensive contributions to laser safety in science, medicine, industry or education.
“The research done by Dr. Rockwell and his team on retinal damage for pulses shorter than one nanosecond has allowed, for the first time, the development of standards covering this regime,” said Peter Baker, Executive Director of LIA. “We were proud to present him with this well deserved award.”
Dr. Rockwell has performed significant service to the national laser safety (ASC Z136) committee and currently chairs the subcommittee responsible for publishing the ANSI Z136.1 standard for Safe Use of Lasers. He is also a major contributor to the U.S. delegation to international laser safety committee (IEC/TC 76) thereby contributing to global, as well as, national laser safety.
Dr. Rockwell has numerous publications and conference papers, most notably serving as the General Chair of the International Laser Safety Conference in 2007, 2009 and 2011. He has served on the LIA Board of Directors, is Fellow of LIA and was recently recognized as an Air Force Research Laboratory Fellow. He graduated from Jefferson City High School (Jefferson City, Missouri) in 1982, the University of Central Missouri with a Bachelor’s degree in physics in 1986 and a Doctoral degree in physics from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1991.