Drawing upon more than 60 years of practiced excellence in the fields of physics and education, Dr. John F. Asmus has served the University of California (UC) San Diego as a research physicist and the co-founder of the Art and Science Center since 1973. Lecturing at UC Davis since 1974, he has previously served numerous science institutions in myriad roles of increasing responsibility dating back to the mid-1950s. Joining the U.S. Naval Ordnance Laboratory in 1954, he was with the laboratory until 1960 when he joined Aero Geo Astro Corporation in Alexandria, Virginia, as head of the optical systems department. He maintained that role until 1964.
From 1964 to 1969, Dr. Asmus was head of the laser department at Gulf General Atomic in San Diego and, from 1969 to 1971, a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Arlington, Virginia. Thereafter, he relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he was vice president and board member of Scientific Applications, Inc., for the following two years. During his tenure in science, Dr. Asmus has also been a consultant in the field and a keynote speaker at the U.S. National Park Service Convention, the Laser World Trade Fair and the city of Munich.
Dr. Asmus has been a contributor of scientific papers to more than 100 professional journals and currently contributes to the editorial board of the Journal of Cultural Heritage. He holds myriad patents in the field, including patents for metallic vapor lasers, embedded pinch lasers, a plasma pinch annealing system and chemical decontamination with ultraviolet. He has further conducted research in laser cleaning to the fields of paleontology and has restored numerous landmarks, such as the Cremona Cathedral, the California State Capital, the White House Mural and the Venice Ducal Palace Sculpture.
Among the highlights of his career, Dr. Asmus is proudest of his work doing computer enhancement imaging on Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” in the Louvre Museum in France. Interviewed by the famous Walter Cronkite regarding the laser restoration, he was honored for his contributions as the winner of the IBM Supercomputing Competition for Image Enhancement in 1989. Likewise, he is also proud of his work with restoring the terra cotta warriors in Xian, for which he received a Rolex Enterprise Award in 1990.
Married to his wife Barbara since 1963, Dr. Asmus is the proud father of two daughters, Joanne and Rosemary, and grandfather of five grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys writing, public speaking, traveling, gardening and studying art history.
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