Distinguished Alumni 1999

Dr. James D. Trolinger, ’67


Dr. James D. Trolinger is the Co-founder and Director of Research of MetroLaser in Irvine, California.

Dr. Trolinger established MetroLaser in 1988 along with Dr. Cecil F. Hess to perform research and development in the use of lasers and optics for making physical measurements. His expertise of specialty are coherent optics, holography, and laser applications in the fields of aerodynamics and non-destructive inspection. He has published over 100 publications in referenced technical journals. He is currently supervising and performing work on the holography programs of International Microgravity Laboratory, two wavelength holographic interferometry, long range holography for earthquake engineering, automated interferogram data reduction, holographic interferometry in hypersonic flows, and phase shift holographic interferometry in flow diagnostics aero-optics.

Dr. Trolinger has held numerous positions throughout his professional career which include his current position of Co-Founder and Director of Research at MetroLaser, Co-founder, Vice President, and Chief Scientist of Spectron Development Laboratories Inc. (’75-’88), Visiting Scientist for USAFWAL Flight Dynamics Lab (’78-’81), Consultant for Aerospace Research and Development for NATO Advisory Group (’74-’88), Initiated and directed the Applied Optics and Acoustics for Division Science Applications International Corporation (’73-’75), Technical Director of Experimental Research Group at Sverdrup Technology Corporation (’67-’75), and Associate Professor of Physics at UTSI (part time) (’67-’75).

Dr. Trolinger’s awards include the National Defense Education Act Scholarship in 1964 and the NATO AGARDograph, No. 296 in 1974 and 1988. He has received the George W. Goddard Award for contributions in the application of optics in aeronautics by the International Society for Optical Engineering in 1992.

His professional accomplishments and positions include successfully applying optical diagnostics on location in numerous U.S. government laboratories (several different locations of NASA, USAF, U.S. Army, and the Idaho National Engineering and Lawrence Livermore Labs), Editorial Advisor, Optics and Laser in Engineering (’86-present), Editorial Advisor, Laser Applications (’85-present), Co-Principal Investigator for International Microgravity Laboratory Space Shuttle Mission IML-1 (’86-present), Editorial Advisor, Optics and Laser Technology (’90-present).

Dr. Trolinger earned a B.S. degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Tennessee in 1963, M.S. in Physics in 1964 and Ph.D. in Physics in 1967 from UTSI.

Dr. Trolinger was born in Shelbyville, Tennessee. He and his wife, Lisa, reside in Costa Mesa, California.