Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


William R. Donaldson

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Scientist. Laboratory for Laser Energetics

PhD, Cornell University, 1984

2421 Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE)
(585) 275-5347
Fax: (585) 275-5960

Short Biography

Dr. William R. Donaldson attended Carnegie-Mellon University and received a BS in physics and mathematics with university honors in 1976. In 1984 he received his PhD from Cornell University in electrical engineering in 1984 on the use of organic crystals for an optical parametric oscillator. After graduating in 1984, he joined the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester as a research associate. In 1986 he was promoted to staff scientist. He was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in January 2009. His research interests have included the physics of photoconductive switches, streak-camera development, the optical response of high temperature superconductors, optical semiconductor diagnostics, electro-optic characterization of electronic circuits and the florescence of biological molecules. Dr. Donaldson is a member of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He holds four patents and has published several scientific papers. 

Selected Publications and Patents

  • "Averaging of Replicated Pulses for Enhanced-Dynamic-Range Single-Shot Measurement of Nanosecond Optical Pulses," J. R. Marciante, W. R. Donaldson, and R. G. Roides, IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 1344-1346 (2007).
  • D. Pan, W. R. Donaldson, and R. Sobolewski, "Femtosecond Laser-Pumped Source of Entangled Photons for Quantum Cryptography Applications," in Photon Counting Applications, Quantum Optics, and Quantum Cryptography, edited by M. Dusek, M. S. Hillery, W. P. Schleich, A. L. Migdall, A. Pauchard, and I. Prochazka (SPIE, Bellingham, WA, 2007), Vol. 6583, pp. 65830K
  • "A Self-Calibrating, Multichannel Streak Camera for Inertial Confinement Fusion Applications," W. R. Donaldson, R. Boni, R. L. Keck, and P. A. Jaanimagi, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 73, 2606-2615 (2002).
  • "Simulation of Submicrometer Metal-Semiconductor-Metal Ultraviolet Photodiodes on Gallium Nitride," J. Li, W. R. Donaldson, and T. Y. Hsiang, Solid-State Electron. 48, 2329-2334 (2004).
  • "Electro-Optic Imaging of Surface Electric Fields in High Power Photoconductive Switches," L. Kingsley and W. Donaldson, IEEE Trans. Electron. Dev. 37, 2449-2458 (1990). 
  • "Electro-Optic Imaging of the Internal Fields in a GaAs Photoconductive Switch," W. R. Donaldson, L. Kingsley, M. Weiner, A. Kim, and R. Zeto, J. Appl. Phys. 68, 6453-6457 (1990).
  • "Effect of Illumination Uniformity on GaAs Photoconductive Switches," W. R. Donaldson and L. Mu, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 30, 2866-2874 (1994).


  • "Ultrafast, High Voltage Pulser Using Circumferentially Illuminated, Laser-Switched Radial Transmission Line," L. E. Kingsley, M. Weiner, H. Singh, and W. R. Donaldson, U. S. Patent No. 5,773,817 (30 June 1998).
  • "High Power Energy Transfer System Utilizing High Temperature Superconductors," W. R. Donaldson, D. Gupta, A. M. Kadin, U. S. Patent No. 5,339,062 (16 August 1994).
  • "Method for Growing Single Crystals of Urea," U. S. Patent No. 4,537,990 (27 August 1985).
  • "Optical Parametric Oscillator Using Urea Crystal," U. S. Patent No. 4,639,923(27 January 1987).


ECE PhD candidates performing research with Professor Donaldson include:

Limin Ji
Thesis topic: Multi-wavelength Electro-optic Pulse Characterization

Gregg Guarino
Thesis topic: Simulations of Ballistic transistors