Don Figer Headshot

Don Figer

Director of Center for Detectors
Center for Detectors
College of Science

585-475-6005
Office Location
Office Mailing Address
17-3153

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

Dr. Figer is Director of the Center for Detectors. He is a professor in the College of Science with appointments in the Astrophysical Science and Technology Ph.D. program and the Microsystems Engineering Ph.D. program. He is a leader in developing and deploying new photon detection technologies.

585-475-6005

Personal Links
Areas of Expertise

Currently Teaching

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.
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-890
1 - 6 Credits
Dissertation research by the candidate for an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
ASTP-791
0 Credits
Continuation of Thesis
PHYS-374
1 Credits
This seminar-style course presents concepts of stars, stellar systems and the universe at an intermediate level. Topics include the observed characteristics of stars, stellar atmospheres, stellar structure and evolution, classification and properties of galaxies, galaxy clusters, nuclei of galaxies, the early universe, cosmic expansion and cosmological parameters.

In the News

  • August 5, 2020

    detector chip carriers and socket.

    RIT student Justin Gallagher helps lead NASA-funded project to build single photon detectors

    An RIT student is on a mission to help build detectors that could identify individual photons from distant, inhabitable planets. Justin Gallagher, a fifth-year student from Rochester, N.Y., pursuing his BS in physics and MS in astrophysical sciences and technology, is serving as project manager for a nearly $1 million grant funded by NASA to create a single photon sensing and number resolving detector for NASA missions.

  • August 3, 2020

    professor looking at laptop.

    RIT faculty gearing up to apply spring learnings to fall classes

    The unexpected transition to remote learning during the spring semester challenged faculty across RIT to experiment, create, and deploy new methods of instruction to ensure student success. As the university gears up for in-person and online classes—or a combination of both—faculty members are applying a wide range of lessons learned from the spring to keep academic momentum moving forward in the fall.

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.