Roy McCord is Professor, Physical Sciences and Technologies at Irvine Valley College (IVC) in Irvine CA. Roy’s interest in astronomy traces back to the dark skies of rural New England; his original three inch Newtonian is still in use teaching students the ancient history of reflector telescopes. Over the last five years he has been traveling with a telescope in a backpack to Mayan sites in Mexico and Central America to share his interest in astronomy with tourists. In the summer of 2006 and 2007, he focussed his outreach on Jinotega, Nicaragua, where he produced two award winning documentaries to support Circulo de Amigas, a small non-profit community center.
Roy completed his bachelor's degree in engineering at Trinity College, Connecticut and his master's degree in biophysics/engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic, New York. He spent five years as quest scientist at the Gesellschaft fuer Strahlen Forschung in Munich, Germany where he conducted medical laser research, including doctoral research in physics under Prof. Franz Hillenkamp, Goethe Universitaet.
With a specialization in photonics, Mr. McCord returned to the US to participate in medical device R&D including fiber optic endoscopy, retinal microsurgery and laser refractive surgery. He founded a company to develop a unique, portable laser for intraocular cataract surgery that is still in use worldwide. As an industry consultant, he has invented systems for image acquisition and automated quantitative microscopy, in particular for use in stem cell and diabetes research.
Mr. McCord has been a photonics consultant for the USFDA, University of California-Irvine, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Novocell Corporation, Spectrum Labs and Prodo Labs. He has served on the Board of Directors of The American Society of Laser in Surgery and Medicine and the editorial board for the Laser Institute of America. He is a member of SPIE, the Automated Imaging Association, Optical Society of America and Orange County Astronomers.
At IVC, he founded programs in astronomy and photonics technology. He has received a number of NSF grants for advanced teacher training, including study at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Mount Wilson Observatory and Jet Propulsion Laboratories. Under state grants he built a robotic observatory on the campus at IVC. He has given numerous presentations on astronomy, lasers and physics to school and community groups throughout Southern California. His present interests are international astronomy outreach, film-making, machine vision and lecturing to encourage careers in science and technology.