Mr. Juergens was born in Chicago in 1946 and moved to California when he was 9 years old. He went to Savanna High School in Anaheim, where he excelled both scholastically and in sports (Cross Country and Track), competing all the time with his identical twin brother. He graduated from Savanna in 1964 and went to California State College, Fullerton, earning his B.A. in Physics in 1967. While taking extra classes to graduate in three years at CS Fullerton, he also lettered in Cross Country, leading the team to their first ever inter-scholastic win in that sport, and also worked part time at Rockwell's Autonetics plant in Anaheim.
After graduating from Cal-State Fullerton, he went to work full time at Autonetics, eventually moving into an electro-optics group, where he got involved in the optical field that was to be his career. He also started full time at UC Irvine, graduating with an M.A. in Physics in 1969.
While working at Autonetics and still going to graduate school, he married Mary Saunders, whom he had started dating in high school. They bought a house in Irvine, before it was a city of its own, where they lived for the next 29 years with only a brief hiatus in Oregon. Eventually, they ended up with five children and currently are up to six grandchildren.
In 1970, with the downturn of the aerospace industry, he was laid off from Autonetics, and got a job at Philco Ford in Newport Beach. Philco Ford soon became Ford Aerospace, and later, after Mr. Juergens left, was sold to Loral, and then to Lockheed Martin.
At Ford Aerospace, Mr. Juergens initially worked on the optical systems for the various versions of the Sidewinder missile (AIM-9B, -9C, -9D, -9E, and –9H). Little did he know then that 25 years later he would be back working on missiles again, including the AIM-9X. At Ford, he worked with many outstanding optical and electro-optical people, including John Gardner, who was a former President of the OSSC, and Lee Wadsworth, who introduced him to the OSSC in the mid 70s (at the old Rodger Young Auditorium), starting him towards eventually becoming President of the OSSC in 1980-81.
After five years of working on missiles, he transferred to a group under Peter Laakmann where he became the system engineer as well as optical engineer for a series of serial scan FLIRs. He helped design and build many FLIRs, including those for the Alyeska company for monitoring the trans-Alaska pipeline, for McDonnell Douglas for the Harpoon missile, for Kongsburg Vappenfabrik of Norway for the Penguin attack boat, and several FLIRs for various classified programs. Eventually, he became supervisor of optics and system requirements for advanced FLIR programs.
In 1982, Mr. Juergens left Ford Aerospace, and went to Portland, Oregon to work for FLIR Systems, Inc. There he helped design and develop a dual FOV FLIR for commercial and paramilitary applications. He started at FLIR as a senior IR systems engineer, but later was promoted to Vice President of Engineering. FSI then had a series of stockholder takeovers, and got a new President from TI, who brought his own management team with him. Thus, in 1984, Mr. Juergens left FSI and returned to California (and to his house, which he hadn't sold) to work as a Senior Scientist at Hughes Aircraft Company in El Segundo.
At Hughes, he worked on systems design for advanced FLIRs and what were then called second generation FLIRs, which were the first with advanced focal plane arrays. After three and an half years at Hughes, he got a call from Darryl Gustafson at Optical Research Associates, asking him to join ORA in their marketing department to help with technical support and marketing of the CODE V optical design program, of which he was an expert user.
Mr. Juergens spent the next almost eleven years at ORA, literally travelling around the world marketing and supporting CODE V. In this job, he learned even more about various optical technologies, as he had to teach users how to use CODE V to solve ever more demanding optical problems. He has also gotten to know many optical personalities all over America, Europe, and Japan, many of whom are now close personal friends.
In January of 1999, Mr. Juergens left ORA to rejoin Hughes Aircraft, which by now had been sold to Raytheon. He left California, and went to Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona, where he is now a Senior Principal Engineer in the Opto-Mechanical Department. He lives in Tucson with his wife Mary, and his youngest daughter Sheila.
While in working for Raytheon in Tucson, Mr. Juergens has also started his own optical consulting company, Cimarron Optical Consulting, which is now a corporate member of the OSSC. If you have any need for optical design consulting, or even for help in using CODE V or LightTools, please contact Cimarron at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr. Juergens has been an OSSC member for almost 25 years, serving in most of the board positions. His busiest OSSC meeting was when he had to serve as the outgoing Arrangements Chair, the incoming Treasurer, and was the speaker, all at the same meeting! He is also a member of the OSA and of SPIE.