Consulting services in optical system design, solar optics,
computerized ray tracing of complex optical systems, and the design of light-piped
Research physicist, SunPine Consulting, 2007-present
National Fenestration Rating Council, 2007-2009
Member NFRC Board
of Directors, 2011-2013
Member of the Board of Directors, Sunflower Corporation, 2004-present
Energy Center, Cocoa, Florida 32922
A research institute
of the University of Central Florida
subjects for lay audiences
Humanity's Environmental Future: Making Sense in a Troubled World
Getting to the Source: Readings on Environmental Values
SunPine Press, Cape Canaveral, Florida, © 2004
more on these books: www.sunpinepress.com.
Click here for Detailed resume
Dr. Ross McCluney, Principal Research Scientist at the
Florida Solar Energy Center from 1976 to 2007, has enjoyed a career spanning
several disciplines. For his B. A. degree (Rhodes
College in Memphis) he studied physics, mathematics, economics, philosophy,
English literature, and religion. His M.S. thesis research (University
of Tennessee in Knoxville) dealt with the diffraction of laser light by
high frequency sound waves in water. Since retiring from FSEC, he works
as a technical consultant and VP Research and Development at Sunflower
While working as an optical engineer at Eastman Kodak
Company in Rochester, McCluney studied the new field of holography at
the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics, then pioneered
at Kodak the use of holographic interferometry for diagnostic tests of
optical systems. This work continued while he pursued his Ph.D. degree
on a National Science Foundation fellowship at the University of Miami,
developing a complex holographic interferometer for detecting minute changes
in gas density inside a test cell made of optically imperfect clear acrylic
During his studies in Miami, McCluney became concerned
about humanity’s destruction of Earth’s ecosystems and contacted
the Miami regional office of National Audubon Society for more information.
This led to the founding of the UM’s first student environmental
organization, Environment!, and his work as an organizer of the University’s
observance of the first Earth Day Teach-In, on 22 April 1970. While at
UM, he taught a semester-long adult education class on South Florida’s
environmental problems. An outcome of these experiences was the suspension
of his physics studies for a year to work on a graduate assistantship
at the University’s new Center for Urban and Environmental Studies,
then headed by Carl McHenry. Working at CUES for the renowned ecologist,
Art Marshall (http://www.artmarshall.org),
McCluney edited a series of essays about the environmental problems of
South Florida. The University’s Graduate Research Council agreed
to underwrite the project, and the manuscript was published by the University
of Miami Press in 1971 as The Environmental Destruction of South Florida.
This book reached a seventh printing in 1990, before going out of print
in 1992. Copies are available from used book sellers.
Upon returning to his physics work, McCluney switched
research topics to optical oceanography, studying the light scattering
properties of marine phytoplankton. Following receipt of his Ph.D. degree
in physics, he worked for three years as an optical oceanographer at NASA’s
Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, occasionally working with
Jacques Cousteau on joint NASA/Cousteau projects.
In 1976 Dr. McCluney was appointed to the Florida Solar
Energy Center in Cocoa, a research institute of the University of Central
Florida in Orlando. His textbook, Introduction to Radiometry and Photometry
was published by Artech House in 1992.
Over the years since 1976, Dr. McCluney has studied, written,
and lectured widely on environmental topics, concentrating on the ethical
and philosophical aspects of the subject. In the Fall of 2003 and the
Spring of 2004 he taught the first semester-long university course based
on the two books he completed in late 2003: Humanity’s Environmental
Future and Getting to the Source.
He retired in 2007 from the Florida Solar Energy Center
and moved to Chattanooga, where he continues his technical consulting
work at SunPine Consulting and his environmental work through the Solar
Valley Coalition, the Cherokee
Group of the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Southern
Alliance for Clean Energy and as a co-founder of the BEST chapter
of Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.
Ross McCluney is a nationally recognized scientist, author, and designer. His
research specialties include optical system design and evaluation, building
window solar radiation analysis, solar cooker and solar water distillation system
design. He collaborates with artist Susan Miller on the design and fabrication
of artistic sundials for public spaces (www.sunpath-designs.com). Since the
first Earth Day in 1970—when he was a leader in the University of Miami’s
observance of that event—he has been writing and speaking on environmental
issues for a variety of audiences.
an optical physicist McCluney’s interests are in the optical and illumination
performances of a variety of novel solar lighting systems, including the relatively
new tubular skylight products being marketed by several companies.
McCluney served as technical consultant on the design and construction of the
world's largest sundial at Walt Disney World and smaller ones at the University
of Texas Pan American Campus in Edinburg and at the Council Bluffs Public Library
in Council Bluffs, Iowa. More information about these projects is offered below.
Dr. McCluney provides technical consulting services to private and governmental
organizations in a variety of areas.
has written more than 60 technical papers—including several papers for
general audiences on environmental ethics—and three books. He has taught
both undergraduate and graduate courses at the college and university levels.
He supervised the M.S. thesis research of several students at Florida Institute
of Technology in Melbourne.
scientific career has spanned three and a half decades. Click here to see the
entire list of his publications.
His primary interest is in the energy and illumination
performance of fenestrations systems, but he also pursues work in the optical
aspects of solar energy collection as well as issues of energy and environmental
policy, including environmental ethics and scientific responsibility. He has
served on the Boards of Directors of Indian River Audubon Society and Florida
Audubon Society, and is currently Vice President of Floridians for a Sustainable
Dr. McCluney’s research activities in fenestration
have received national and international recognition. He is past chairman of
ASHRAE Technical Committee on fenestration; a member of the daylighting committee
of the Illumination Engineering Society; a member and technical consultant of
the U.S. National Committee on Interior Lighting of the International Lighting
Commission (CIE), and a past member of the CIE's technical committee on international
daylight and solar radiation measurements. He has authored over 70 papers and
two books, on both technical and environmental topics. His textbook Introduction
to Radiometry and Photometry was published by Artech House in 1994.
Dr. McCluney obtained a Bachelor’s Degree
in physics from Rhodes College in Memphis and his Master’s Degree in physics
from the University of Tennessee. His research at the University of Tennessee
involved the diffraction of light by sound waves. From 1966 to 1967, he worked
as a development engineer for Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York,
and developed a holographic interferometer for testing large optical systems.
He used this technique at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida to
develop a ten-pass holographic interferometer for measuring very small changes
in optical systems.
Dr. McCluney received his Ph.D. in physics from
the University of Miami in 1973. His dissertation research was based on the
scattering of light by marine organisms. He worked as a research scientist in
optical oceanography for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt,
Maryland, from 1973 to 1976. Dr. McCluney’s work there focused on the
remote measurement of ocean color.
He has served as a consultant to Kenergy Corporation,
3M Company, Syracuse Research Institute, the Dade County Florida Department
of Parks and Recreation, Public Works Canada, Synertech Corporation, T. J. Bottom
Industries, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Verosol-USA, Office of Energy-Related
Inventions, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Holder Construction
Company (builder of the Team Disney Building and world’s largest sundial,
Lake Buena Vista, FL), BRW Architects, Queens University in Kingston, Ontario,
Canada, Kell, Munoz, Wigodsky Architects, San Antonio, Morrison Associates Sundials,
the U.S. Department of Justice, Cardinal Industries, and was technical consultant
to the National Fenestration Rating Council from 2007 to 2009.