Bass, whose research career spans nearly 60 years, was selected for contributions to a wide range of innovations, including breakthroughs in internal medicine, cancer research, and fiber optic communications. He is the fifth UCF professor to receive the distinction and one of eight members of the 2019 class, which will be formally inducted in Tampa on Sept. 20. This is the fourth consecutive year that a UCF faculty member has been selected.
“All great inventions begin with a question. I have had the pleasure of answering many of those questions alongside some of the brightest minds in the medical and scientific research fields,” said Bass, an expert in the areas of lasers and optics and a professor emeritus of optics within UCF’s CREOL, the College of Optics and Photonics. “Working hand-in-hand with those professionals in the truest sense of the word ‘partnership,’ we were able to make life-changing breakthroughs that helped real people in their everyday lives.”
Bass’s work has resulted in 34 U.S. patents and nearly 200 published papers in peer-reviewed journals. Instances of notable contributions to medical and scientific research include the following:
- Fiber Optics Laser Light System
Bass played an integral role in the development of a medical technique which uses fiber optics to treat internal bleeding and tumors. He introduced the idea of using fibers to reach impacted areas of the body and cauterize the affected area with laser light. His approach helped innovate how doctors treat internal injuries.
- Cancer Research
Bass created a new method, utilizing infrared lighting, for finding nanoparticles surrounding cancerous cells. Prior to this, nanoparticles were difficult to locate with even the most powerful of microscopes. Bass’s innovation assisted cancer researchers with creating more effective treatments.
- Mass Communications Systems
Working with colleagues at UCF’s CREOL, Bass created a new means to amplify the light in fiber optics, allowing significant increases in the amount of information a fiber optic communications system can carry.
Bass has served as a faculty member and researcher at UCF for more than 30 years. He arrived at UCF in 1988 as the university’s vice president for research, serving in that role until 1992. In addition to professor emeritus of optics, he also has been a professor of electrical engineering and physics, as well as a professor of optics, physics, and electrical and computer engineering.
Prior to coming to UCF, Bass held a number of prominent positions at the University of Southern California, including director of the USC Center for Laser Studies from 1977 to 1984. He also taught at the University of Michigan, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bass earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a master’s and a doctorate degree in physics from the University of Michigan.
The Florida Inventors Hall of Fame annually honors a small selection of Florida inventors whose achievements have advanced the quality of life for Floridians, the state and the nation. Honorees are selected by a committee of distinguished experts in the relevant fields of innovation.
The UCF faculty members currently enshrined within the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame are Shin-Tson Wu, inducted in 2014; M.J. Soileau, inducted in 2016; Issa Batarseh, inducted in 2017; and Sudipta Seal, inducted in 2018.