George Gull '72 has enjoyed one of the
of any member with the Cornell Department of Astronomy.
As a mechanical engineering undergraduate, he undertook a senior thesis under the direction of James Houck
which consisted of designing the equatorial fork mounting of the HBO telescope
and then overseeing its fabrication. He continued to work with Prof. Houck for three decades, designing and fabricating multiple
generations of astronomical instruments, including ones that flew aboard sounding rockets, the NASA Learjet, Galileo, and Kuiper
airborne observatories, and which attached to ground-based telescopes at observatories such as Palomar
. Working with
Prof. Terry Herter
, George's final decade was spent leading the design and construction of
facility instrument aboard
the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy
George has described his job as "Chief Toymaker" for the Cornell astronomical instrumentation effort.