The American Association for the Advancement of Science recently elected UCF’s Martin Richardson, a professor in the College of Optics and Photonics, as a Fellow for his contributions to science and technology.

Richardson, a Pegasus Professor who has been at UCF since 1990, was recognized for his work in developing high-power pulsed lasers and for their use in understanding the science of high-power laser light interaction with matter, particularly laser-induced plasmas, the AAAS said.

The 347 newly elected members will be recognized in Washington during the association’s annual meeting.

Richardson, a longtime member of the organization, is the ninth UCF faculty member to be elected as a Fellow.

He came to UCF after career positions at the University of Rochester and the National Research Council in Ottawa, Canada, and visiting positions in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Qatar and Soviet Union. He graduated in laser science from Imperial College and the University of London.

At UCF he co-founded the Laser Plasma Laboratory in the UCF’s Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers. This laboratory has become one of the nation’s largest academic research groups in laser science and technology, graduating more than 60 Ph.D. and master’s students since 1990. Most of his former students hold positions in U.S. industry, government or academic institutions.

He has generated more than $40 million of research funding at UCF from multiple research agencies, plus a $24 million donation of equipment, cash and intellectual property from the Northrop Grumman Corp.

In 2007 he founded the Townes Laser Institute at UCF, named after Charles Townes the 1964 Nobel Laureate inventor of the concept of the laser. Richardson also is a fellow of several other professional societies and in 2014-2015 became a Jefferson Science Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences at the U.S. Department of State in Washington.