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University of Arizona Mirror Lab Re-Named for Interface, Inc. Founder Richard F. Caris


For Imediate Release

University of Arizona Mirror Lab Re-Named
for Interface, Inc. Founder Richard F. Caris

Scottsdale, November 10, 2015 — On September 18, 2015 the Interface Board of Directors and Executive Team traveled to Tucson for the dedication of the newly re-named Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab. It was a great honor to join our company founder and his family as he was honored by the University of Arizona for his support of the Mirror Lab, housed beneath the east wing of the football stadium. Mr. Caris’ founded Interface, Inc. in 1968 out of his home in Phoenix. The company has grown tremendously, now employing over 150 people, while remaining family owned.

“We actually became involved with Mr. Caris’ company before we became involved with Mr. Caris himself. We were buying load cells that measure force from Interface. Mr. Caris is a very curious man in the sense that he wanted to know what on earth the University of Arizona was doing buying all those load cells. Richard truly understood and appreciated that what was being achieved here was unique and wonderful.”
- Peter A Strittmatter PhD Regents’ Professor of Astronomy and Director Emeritus to the University

Mr. Caris has made personal donations in the past to fund the very complex mirror for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) currently under construction in Northern Chile. He has also supported the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) project, the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter, and the UA Sky School. His most recent personal donation in December 2014 backed the University’s role in the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) that will be constructed in Northern Chile. The GMT will have 7 four-story tall mirrors and be able to monitor light from the edge of the universe, allowing astronomers to see further and clearer than ever before, expanding our knowledge of dark matter and life on other planets. The formal dedication was followed by group tours of the Mirror Lab where they had just begun casting for the 4th and center mirror of the GMT, the largest of the 7 mirrors.

“He’s a very committed philanthropist. He sees the impact of private giving on world class science and he acts. The Giant Magellan Telescope project is part of an incredible development in land based astronomy that with adaptive optics, makes it possible for us to see into the farthest reaches of the universe. It is an international and multi-university partnership that represents the best in private, public, partnerships with philanthropy, and it combines all of the human spirit together to look into our most distant past and hopefully into our future. The Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab is critical to the state of Arizona. Its world class physics, world class optics, and world class manufacturing right here underneath the University of Arizona Stadium.”
- Dr. Anne Weaver-Heart President of the University of Arizona

The Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab utilizes high performing Interface load cells for the custom mirror-cell support systems they build for the giant, light weight mirrors they construct for the world’s largest land based telescopes. They also use them to polish those mirrors to perfection. Interface is humbled by the generosity of our founder, and looks forward to working with the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab for decades to come.

Check out this video that was shown at the dedication:

And this video that describes the process of making the giant mirrors:

Some videos about the GMT

Some videos about the LSST

Some videos about the LBT