Mike Lockwood grew up under the dark, transparent skies of northern Michigan, and that gave him a life-long appreciation of the night sky. He built several telescopes in high school and was a member and officer in several astronomy clubs during college and afterward.
Mike earned a bachelor of science degree in computer engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1997, and a master of science in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois in 1999. He was a research engineer there at the Beckman Institute from 2000 until 2009, researching acoustic beamforming using multiple-microphone arrays. His research has been published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.
In 2006, Mike started Lockwood Custom Optics, a one-man optical company specializing in custom telescope mirrors. In 2009, facing decreased research funding and increased demand for custom optical work, he left his research job to become a full-time professional optician, and later that year he moved to a house with shop space that could handle the size and weight of mirrors up to 60" in diameter. LCO now supplies large, fast optics to many telescope companies, individuals, and industrial and scientific clients. Some of the projects he has been involved in are seen here: http://www.loptics.com/projects/projects.html
Mike has been involved with building telescopes up to 50" in aperture. He taught telescope making and mirror making classes, and has written many articles that have appeared in Sky & Telescope and Amateur Astronomy Magazine. He has made many presentations at star parties, including WSP and the Okie-Tex Star Party.
This year Mike will present "Four Lessons in Optical Testing". Using measurements of one mirror as a real-world example, this talk explains why the results from star testing and from various optical bench tests often do not appear to agree, and illustrates how and why mirrors made from certain types of glass change shape as they cool. Additionally, other potential errors and pitfalls of optical testing and mirror support are highlighted and discussed.