(Funk) McGarvey '74
Deborah Leigh Wood
technology has given us Tang, freeze-dried ice cream and a
host of other products. Add to this list LADARVision.
like the latest in home entertainment equipment is actually
an eye-tracking device to improve the precision of LASIK surgery,
which reshapes the cornea to give patients better vision.
A team including S.K. (Funk) McGarvey '74 developed
and commercialized LADARVision by adapting technology used
by NASA in delicate space docking maneuvers and missile tracking.
(LADAR is an amalgam of laser and radar.)
of her contribution to spinning off a space technology that
enhances the quality of life on earth, McGarvey was part of
the team inducted into the 2004 Space Technology Hall of Fame
last year at the National Space Symposium, both located in
The induction was
"very gratifying," says McGarvey, who is a nationally
recognized expert in the development of ophthalmologic technologies.
"In attending the NASA meeting and ceremonies,"
she says, "I was struck with how the NASA management
showed great respect for the ability of a private enterprise
team to move technology NASA had invested in to a commercial
The Space Technology
Hall of Fame was developed in 1988 by NASA and the Space Foundation,
a national not-for-profit organization, to honor innovators
who have transformed space technology into commercial products.
on LADARVision while consulting for Autonomous Technologies,
which was acquired first by Summit Technologies and then by
Alcon, which are all medical device companies whose products
are used in ophthalmic surgery.
McGarvey says she
has spent most of her career at the crossroads of marketing
and R&D. While working at Baxter, her first job after
earning an undergraduate degree in chemistry, she says she
sought a better understanding of the business world. In fact,
Baxter agreed to pay her Kellogg School tuition, making her
the first woman to have her MBA fully funded by Baxter.
I learned at Kellogg made a huge difference in understanding
the logic of company decisions," McGarvey says. "Having
an MBA gave me the confidence to lead and to assume you have
the authority to get something done until someone says you