Don Figer Headshot

Don Figer

Director of Center for Detectors

Center for Detectors
College of Science

5855984731
Office Location
Office Mailing Address
ENG-3110

Don Figer

Director of Center for Detectors

Center for Detectors
College of Science

Education

BA, Northwestern University; MS, University of Chicago; Ph.D., University of California

Bio

Don Figer is Professor in the College of Science and Founder and Director of the Rochester Imaging Detector Laboratory, Center for Detectors, and the Future Photon Initiative at RIT. He previously was co-founder and Director of the Independent Detector Testing Laboratory at the Space Telescope Science Institute where he led a team to do the competitive characterization of prototype infrared detectors for the James Webb Space Telescope. He has been PI on dozens of observational astrophysics and instrumentation development programs. Dr. Figer studies massive stars, young star clusters, and the Galactic center. He identified the Pistol star as one of the most massive known. He made the first direct measurement of an upper limit to the masses of stars and has discovered more evolved massive stars and massive star clusters in the Galaxy than any other researcher. Dr. Figer has authored over 200 publications with a total of 6,000 citations and has an h-index of 43.

5855984731

Areas of Expertise

Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Geballe, T. R., et al. "Infrared Diffuse Interstellar Bands in the Galactic Centre Region." Nature 479. 7372 (2011): 200-202. Print.
Richards, Emily E., et al. "Multiwavelength Observations of Massive Stellar Cluster Candidates in the Galaxy." Astrophysical Journal 43. (2011): 0-1. Print.
Davis, B., et al. "The G305 Star-forming Complex: the Central Star Clusters Danks 1 and Danks 2." MNRAS. (2011): 1-18. Print.
Kim, Sungsoo S., et al. "Nuclear Star-Forming Ring of the Milky Way: Simulations." Astrophysical Journal Letters 735. 1 (2011): 0-1. Print.
Messineo, M., et al. "Massive Stars in the Cl 1813-178 Cluster. An Episode of Massive Star Formation in the W33 Complex." Astrophysical Journal 733. 1 (2011): 1-15. Print.
Invited Keynote/Presentation
Figer, Don. "Massive Star Formation in Nuclei of Galaxies." The Central Kiloparsec in Galactic Nuclei. University of Cologne. Germany, Bad Honnef, Germany. 30 Aug. 2011. Conference Presentation.
Figer, Don. "A Photon-counting Detector for Exoplanet Missions." Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets V. International Society for Optics and Photonics. San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA. 21 Aug. 2011. Conference Presentation.
Figer, Don. "Silicon Single Photon Imaging Detectors." Single-Photon Imaging II. International Society for Optics and Photonics. San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA. 21 Aug. 2011. Conference Presentation.
Figer, Don. "Single Photon Imaging Array Detectors for Astrophysics and Biophotonics." Single Photon Workshop 2011. Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt. Germany, Braunschweig, Germany. 27 Jun. 2011. Conference Presentation.
Published Conference Proceedings
Figer, D. F., et al. "A Photon-counting Detector for Exoplanet Missions." Proceedings of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series, OP408. Ed. SPIE. SPIE: n.p., Print.
Figer, D. F., et al. "Silicon Single Photon Imaging Detectors." Proceedings of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series, OP217. Ed. SPIE. SPIE: n.p., Print.

Currently Teaching

ASTP-790
1 - 3 Credits
Masters-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
ASTP-791
0 Credits
Continuation of Thesis
ASTP-890
1 - 6 Credits
Dissertation research by the candidate for an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
ASTP-891
0 Credits
Continuation of Thesis
PHYS-220
3 Credits
This course is an introduction to the basic concepts of astronomy and astrophysics for scientists and engineers. Topics include the celestial sphere, celestial mechanics, methods of data acquisition, planetary systems, stars and stellar systems, cosmology, and life in the universe.
PHYS-799
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum. The level of study is appropriate for a graduate-level student.

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