Clifford Pollock

Clifford R Pollock

Ilda And Charles Lee Professor of Engineering Emeritus
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Phillips Hall, Room 418


Pollock joined the faculty at Cornell in 1983 after doing a two year postdoc at the National Bureau of Standards in Boulder. He started research in tunable solid state lasers, specifically focusing on color center lasers. In 1985 he and his group discovered the broadly tunable NaCl laser which was widely used in the early development of fiber optic technology. His research continued in laser development for his entire 40 year career as a faculty member, and in 1993 he was named the first Ilda and Charles Lee Professor of Engineering. Throughout his tenure at Cornell, Pollock was recognized for outstanding teaching with the college’s Tau Beta Pi award, HKN’s C. Holmes MacDonald Excellence in Teaching Award, and was named a Weiss Fellow by Cornell. He enjoyed interacting with students at all levels, whether in the lab or in the classroom, teaching courses in lasers, circuits, fiber optics, and even calculus. He served as the program leader for Duffield Hall when it was being planned and built, and later served as Director of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering from 2000-2007 and 2014-2018. He retired in 2023 and is now working on lasers used for LIDAR back near Boulder, doing what he calls a “post-prof”.

Research Interests


  • B.S. (Electrical Engineering), Rice University, 1976
  • M.S. (Electrical Engineering), Rice University, 1979
  • Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering), Rice University, 1981