Toronto, Canada, October 6, 2008 - It is with very great sadness that I am letting everyone know of the passing last week of Sebastian Sizgoric, the President of Optech International, Inc. and friend of many Optech people here in Toronto, Mississippi and around the world. Sebastian had been battling cancer for the past year and, until quite recently, the outlook had been good. This news will likely surprise many.
Sebastian’s many years of professional interaction created a large circle of friends among his colleagues, clients and co-workers. His intelligence, laugh and general love of life will be missed by all who knew him.
In June 2001 Sebastian moved south to begin Optech International, Inc. in Kiln, Mississippi. Sebastian continued there in his role as President until his leave of absence to begin cancer treatment.
Sebastian joined Helen and Allan Carswell at Optech 34 years ago. Initially, he had technical responsibilities on lidar projects that centered on the design and development of several atmospheric lidar systems, as well as on an airborne lidar system for underwater-target sounding. Sebastian became Vice President of Engineering R&D, where he was involved in the technical marketing of the evolving technology of airborne lidar for underwater target detection and depth soundings. He was also, for several years, the Vice President of Business Development at Optech Incorporated, responsible for the broad-based company business thrust, and corporate support in technical and management areas.
Before joining Optech, Sebastian worked at the Electro-Optics Group at SPAR Aerospace as a Responsible Equipment Engineer on the Canadian Communications Technology Satellite program. He concentrated on the electro-optic sensors of the satellite's deployable solar array.
In 1971 Sebastian worked at the Centre for Research in Experimental Space Science at York University in Toronto, specializing in lidar system design and data interpretation. He helped to develop a ruby lidar system to investigate the atmosphere, and a cavity-dumped argon lidar system to evaluate the feasibility of probing underwater targets.
In 1969 Sebastian joined the Opto-Electronics Group at RCA Research Laboratories in Montréal. While there, he gained experience in optical and infrared spectroscopic techniques, optical detection and signal processing. He worked on programs to develop a space-qualified FM communications system based on a CO2 laser, and a CO2-based doppler imaging radar for airborne mapping.
Sebastian received his M.Eng. degree from McGill University in 1968. He has various scientific and technical publications in the field of laser applications, and was a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario.
Those who worked with Sebastian came to know him as an excellent scientist, an inspiring leader, and perhaps best of all, a dear friend. We will always fondly remember his many gifts, his talents and the joyful sound of his laughter.