WTP Optics, Inc., provides unique consulting services in optics, optical and mechanical engineering, innovative product development, instrumentation, and manufacturing.

William T. Plummer, PhD, President

Bill Plummer is widely known for his team development of phenomenal new design and manufacturing technologies, notably the early introduction of quality plastic aspheric lens surfaces in photography, and for the first uses of generalized and symmetry-free aspheric optical surfaces in high-volume cameras. His interests and contributions span the full range of product development, from unusual design concepts through all the analysis, tooling, instrumentation, and procedures needed for effective manufacture.

Bill Plummer has taught engineering and optical subjects at The Johns Hopkins University, the University of Massachusetts, and Tufts University, and is a Senior Lecturer with the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bill Plummer received his PhD in Physics from The Johns Hopkins University in 1965. With Professor John Strong he made infrared spectrometric measurements for planetary astronomy by high-altitude balloon. After earning his degree he served as a Captain in the US Army Signal Corps, then taught Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 1969 he joined Polaroid, and soon worked with Dr. Edwin H. Land and Dr. James G. Baker to create the remarkable SX-70 folding instant SLR camera. For more than 30 years Bill and his expert team routinely contributed new design and manufacturing technologies for a range of products from high-volume amateur and professional photographic systems to specialized laser scanning, digital printing, and optical communication equipment.

Bill Plummer has been awarded 102 US Patents for inventions in visual, photographic, and technical optical systems: spanning lens designs, innovative components, optomechanical devices, instrumentation, electronics, and chemistry. He has published professional papers in optics, astronomy, acoustics, and other fields. He has given illustrated technical talks before university, scientific, industrial, government, and commercial groups in several countries.

Bill Plummer is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is a recipient of the Optical Society of America's David Richardson Medal for applied optics, the Joseph Fraunhofer Award for optical engineering, and the Robert M. Burley Prize for optical engineering. He is a recipient of the Steve Benton Memorial Award from the New England Section of the Optical Society of America. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society, of the S.P.I.E., and of the National Speleological Society. He and his group received a Photonics Spectra Circle of Excellence Award and an R&D 100 Award for a video-rate photon tunneling microscope.

Bill Plummer was Senior Director / Divisional Vice President for Optical Engineering when he left Polaroid in 2001. Through WTP Optics, Inc., he continues to collaborate with optical industry leaders.