Optech, the world leader in the development, manufacture and support of high-accuracy 3D survey systems and productivity-enhancing workflow software, announces the retirement of Dr. J. Douglas Houston, Vice President Corporate Services. As one of the first employees of the company, Dr. Houston had a personal hand in many of Optech’s early advances in lidar technology, laying the groundwork for the advanced systems Optech delivers today.
While a graduate student at the University of Western Ontario and then at York University under Optech founder and Chairman Dr. Allan Carswell, Doug Houston performed the first lidar measurements ever made in Canada. Doug joined Optech soon after its founding in 1974, and was responsible for many of Optech’s advances and ‘firsts’ in the lidar industry. His work on airborne profilometers eventually led to Optech’s ground-breaking ALTM airborne laser terrain mappers, and he kicked off Optech’s leadership of the airborne lidar bathymetry industry when he helped design and build the LARSEN 500 lidar bathymeter, a predecessor to SHOALS and Optech's industry-leading CZMIL Coastal Zone Mapping and Imaging Lidar.
"Looking back, it has been a tremendous experience to grow and develop my career just as Optech grew over the last four decades, and I’d like to thank Allan Carswell for the opportunity”, said Doug. “Although we’re welcoming new opportunities and activities as we transition into retirement, my wife Lorraine and I will certainly miss the daily interactions with all of the Optech employees we have met over the years. It was this interaction that made our employment all the more enjoyable."
“We are very thankful for Doug’s four decades of service, and wish him a happy and productive retirement”, said Dr. Carswell. “Not only did he pioneer many of Optech’s earliest accomplishments, Doug also moved into a variety of managerial roles later in his career, giving Optech the solid infrastructure it needed to grow from a small R&D firm to the world’s premier lidar company with hundreds of employees including scientists, engineers, technicians and a solid management team.”
Doug will continue in a part-time consulting role as Glenn Farrington, VP of Operations assumes his responsibilities. Glenn has 16 years of experience with Optech, including seven years as Deputy Director and then General Manager of the Airborne Business Unit. Glenn was promoted to his VP role three years ago. With the solid scientific and engineering foundation established by pioneers like Dr. Houston, and the management expertise brought by the new Teledyne synergies, Optech is remaining true to the legacy of innovation and is poised to transform the industry once again.