Gary Hawkins is the Group Leader of the University of Oxford Infrared Multilayer Laboratory (IML), a Small Research Facility (SRF) which is a renowned supplier of infrared coated optical components for astronomical and spaceflight scientific instruments. Gary received his PhD from the University of Reading in 1999 for research in optical thin-film engineering, with a thesis entitled ‘Spectral characterisation of infrared optical materials and filters’. He is a Chartered Physicist, and Member of the Institute of Physics (1994), a member of the Optical Society of America (OSA 1995), and is a member of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE 1999). Gary has worked within IML since 1985, during which time he has been actively involved and responsible for many projects in the specialist design, research and fabrication of precision infrared optical filters and coatings for the astronomical, atmospheric and planetary remote-sounding communities. He has authored and co-authored over 40 journal and conference papers and published a book on the effects of Space exposure on infrared filters and materials (ISBN 0704904098).
His research interests include the study, design and manufacture of high performance thin-film interference multilayers, optical materials, filters and coatings. This includes; material science of optical thin-films, thin-film deposition coating process technologies, multilayer interference filter design and production methods, spectral characterisation of optical materials, properties of IV-VI and II-VI chalcogenide dielectric materials, development of temperature-invariant narrow bandpass filters, spectral modelling simulations of optical constants, FTIR spectroscopy and effects of ionizing space radiation on properties of optical materials. As the Group Leader of the laboratory, he is responsible for the entirety of activities and research conducted by IML, including the acquisition, management, scientific and technical requirements for the successful execution of external research contracts to secure and maintain the goals of the business. He is actively involved will all aspects of the manufacturing process and performs many of the thin-film depositions in the fabrication of the filters.