Chunlei Guo is a professor in Optics and Physics at University of Rochester. He is a Fellow of American Physical Society and Optical Society of America. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief for one of the most widely recognized handbooks in lasers and optics, CRC Handbook of Laser Technology and Applications (2nd Edition).

Often inspired by species in nature, from lotus to butterflies to spiders, his research at Rochester led to the discoveries of a range of highly functionalized materials through laser processing, including the black and colored metals, and superhydrophilic and superhydrophobic surfaces. These technologies have a broad range of applications and have been covered extensively by the media, including the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, Discovery, The Economist, Popular Science, Time, ABC, and many more (read here). Over the past few years, he has been working closely with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in developing technologies for global sanitation, water conservation, renewable energy, and sustainability. He discussed his work in the TEDx below.

3 words to describe Nature?

Peaceful. Inspiring. Eternal.

3 things Nature taught you?




3 most treasured Nature spots?

Okavango delta (Botswana)

Himalaya mountain range (Tibet)

Cappadocia (Turkey).

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?


When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?


When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?


When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?


When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?


When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?


Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

I like them all.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?


Share with us a childhood nature memory?

A hiking trip with a few childhood friends. We were going further and further along a woody road with no end in sight. We were nervous but all wanted to keep going…