Charter Day Honors Gregory Olsen, Pioneer in Sensors Industry and Space Travel
MADISON, N.J. (June 1, 2010) ó At its 21st Annual Charter Day on Friday, June 4, Fairleigh Dickinson University will honor alumnus Gregory Olsen, an FDU trustee and president of GHO Ventures of Princeton, N.J. The Charter Day reception and dinner will be held at FDUís College at Florham.
Charter Day honors individuals who have distinguished themselves as leaders in their professions and their communities. Proceeds from the event support academic scholarships for undergraduates at Fairleigh Dickinson. Since 1990, Charter Day activities have raised more than $6 million for the scholarships.
Olsen was the third private citizen to orbit the Earth on the International Space Station (ISS). After training for five months at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Moscow, he launched on a Russian Soyuz rocket TMA-7 on Oct. 1, 2005. He docked with the ISS two days later and returned to Earth on Soyuz TMA-6 on Oct. 11. He orbited the Earth more than 150 times and logged almost 4 million miles of weightless travel during his 10 days in space.
After a career as a research scientist and entrepreneur, Olsen is now president of GHO Ventures Inc., where he manages his angel investments in startup companies. He performs numerous speaking engagements to encourage young people ó especially minorities and girls ó to consider careers in science and engineering.
Olsen received a B.S. in physics (1966), a BSEE and M.S. in physics (1968) from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Virginia (1971). He founded EPITAXX, a fiber-optic detector manufacturer, in 1984 with Vladimir Ban. After it was sold, he started Sensors Unlimited, a near-infrared camera manufacturer, in 1992 with Marshall Cohen. Olsen is currently Entrepreneur in Residence at Princeton University.
Olsen serves as chair of the FDU NOW Campaign Steering Committee, and is active in many civic organizations including Trenton Big Brothers and Sisters, Trenton Boys and Girls Club, Trenton Soup Kitchen and the Princeton Historical Society. He is the author of By Any Means Necessary! An Entrepreneurís Journey Into Space (2010).