Robert L. Byer has served as President of The American Physical Society, of the Optical Society of America and of the IEEE LEOS. He has served as Vice Provost and Dean of Research at Stanford. He has been Chair of the Department of Applied Physics, Director of the Edward L. Ginzton Laboratory and Director of the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory. He is a founding member of the California Council on Science and Technology and served as Chair from 1995-1999. He was a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board from 2002-2006 and has been a member of the National Ignition Facility since 2000.
Robert L. Byer has conducted research and taught classes in lasers and nonlinear optics at Stanford University since 1969. He has made extraordinary contributions to laser science and technology including the demonstration of the first tunable visible parametric oscillator, the development of the Q-switched unstable resonator Nd:YAG laser, remote sensing using tunable infrared sources and precision spectroscopy using Coherent Anti Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS). Current research includes precision laser measurements in support of the detection of gravitational waves and laser “Accelerator on a chip”.