The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), has announced that Dr. Mark Rea, Director of the LRC will take an academic sabbatical for the upcoming fiscal year, effective July 1, 2016. According to the press release, during his sabbatical, Rea will work on “…developing two new LRC initiatives, the Glenn W. Bailey Memorial Fellowship, which supports activities that integrate the business of lighting into the education of graduate students at the LRC, and a program related to plant pathology and horticultural lighting. He will also continue to work on existing funded research projects, such as Warning Beacons for Front Line Service Worker Safety.”
During Rea’s sabbatical period, Dr. Mariana Figueiro, current LRC Light & Health Program Director, will serve as Acting Director. Figueiro has been with the LRC for the past 20 years, since she was a graduate student in the LRC’s Master of Science in Lighting program. After graduation she served as staff scientist. In 2004 she obtained her Ph.D. from RPI and in 2006 she was offered a tenure-track position as an assistant professor. In 2014 she was promoted to full professor.
Figueiro is a leading expert in the area of light and health. Her research has been published widely and she has spoken at several leading conferences such as TEDMED bringing the topic of light and health issues to a broader public audience. This year, she was an invited speaker and panelist at the National Institutes of Health Workshop and presented on the subject of Shift Work at Night, Artificial Light at Night, and Circadian Disruption. She is also a principal investigator for several research projects within the LRC, including grants from the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the General Services Administration and the Office of Naval Research.