Alfred University News

Kathleen Richardson ’82, ’88 M.S., ’92 Ph.D. wins UCF Excellence in Research Award

Kathleen Richardson ’82, ’88 M.S., ’92 Ph.D.
Kathleen Richardson ’82, ’88 M.S., ’92 Ph.D.

Kathleen (Rivers Cerqua) Richardson ’82, ’88 M.S., ’92 Ph.D., a member of Alfred University's Board of Trustees, has been named winner of the 2021 University of Central Florida Excellence in Research Award.


ORLANDO, FL—Kathleen (Rivers Cerqua) Richardson ’82, ’88 M.S., ’92 Ph.D., a member of Alfred University's Board of Trustees, has been named winner of the 2021 University of Central Florida Excellence in Research Award.

Richardson is Pegasus Professor of Optics and Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Optics and Photonics at UCF, where she runs the Glass Processing and Characterization Laboratory. Finalists from the 12 colleges at UCF are considered for the Excellence in Research Award; Richardson was finalist from the College of Optics and Photonics.

Richardson earned a B.S. in ceramic engineering from Alfred University in 1982 and went on to earn a master’s degree in glass science and a doctorate in ceramic engineering, both from Alfred University. She has been a member of the Alfred University Board of Trustees since 2006.

The University of Central Florida is a R1 (research level 1) university. With more than 61,000 undergraduates, more than 10,000 graduate students and more than 1,900 faculty, UCF is the second-largest university in the nation. Kathleen Richardson’s UCF biography

In 2018, Richardson was appointed a Florida Photonics Center of Excellence (FPCE) professor for her ongoing commitments to education and research supporting industry. That same year, she was named recipient of the Pegasus Professor Award, the highest academic honor given by UCF.

Pegasus Professors are recognized for success in teaching, research, creative activity, and service. To be eligible, recipients must have worked at UCF for at least five years and have “conducted research or developed programs that have made national and international impact.” Richardson was honored for her work developing glass with specific optical properties and the ability to withstand extreme temperatures.

She was recipient of the 2020 Maria J. Yzuel Educator Award, given by International Society for Optics and Photonics in recognition of sustained outstanding contributions to global research, education and training in optical materials.

Richardson is a fellow (and past president) in the American Ceramic Society (ACerS), and also a fellow in the European Ceramic Society, the Optical Society of America, the International Society for Optics and Photonics, and the Society of Glass Technology.