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Jumper Named Roth-Gibson Professor

Nina Welding • DATE: February 10, 2015

Eric J. Jumper, director of the Aero-Optics Group, has been promoted to Roth-Gibson Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

An international leader in the study of the distortion of laser light in turbulent air and the ways in which to mitigate that distortion, Jumper is a committed scholar and public servant. He was commissioned by the U.S. Air Force upon graduation from the University of New Mexico. Since that time, as an Air Force researcher to his tenure at the University of Notre Dame, he has dedicated his life in service to his nation and his neighbors. He has served as research engineer and scientist in the Air Force; a faculty member at both the Air Force Academy and Air Force Institute of Technology; Chief of the Laser Devices Division of the Air Force Weapons Laboratory in New Mexico; and instructor, researcher, and mentor to generations of students.

Jumper has long been recognized for his development of a unique research program featuring an Airborne Optical Laboratory. He has consistently received funding from a number of governmental and industrial sources for the study of aero-optics, investigating laser directed energy and free-space communication, which occurs in a flying laboratory literally at the speed of sound. Largely known for his work in aero-optics, Jumper has made many other important contributions, including work that led to changes in the mode of operation of the Space Shuttle, foundational information for the development of chemical lasers, and his involvement in studying the image on the Shroud of Turin.

A Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Directed Energy Professional Society and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education, Jumper has received numerous research awards over the years, including the General Bernard Schriever Award for Research, the Air Force University Commander’s Award for Faculty Achievement, and two Air Force Meritorious Service Medals. He has also been honored with teaching awards for his excellence in the instruction and mentoring of students.