Dr Rakich began his career in optics as an amateur telescope maker. In New Zealand there are no tertiary institutions offering degrees specializing in geometrical optics. Dr. Rakich had the good fortune to meet Norman Rumsey, a retired senior Scientist from a New Zealand Government Laboratory. Norman was looking for an “apprentice” to pass on something of his life-long knowledge of optics to, and Dr. Rakich, then 19 years old, was a willing study. With this grounding in optics, culminating in a Doctorate through the University of Canterbury, Dr. Rakich has had an interesting and varied career, travelling to most corners of the world working on telescopes, instrumentation and other optical devices and systems. Dr Rakich has had lead technical roles in Kiwistar Optics, EOS Space Systems, Large Binocular Telescope Observatory, European Southern Observatory and the Giant Magellan Telescope Observatory. In 2019 Dr Rakich returned to his home in New Zealand and began working as a consultant for his own company, Mersenne Optical Consulting. It is notable that among regular clients of Mersenne Optical Consulting are all of the companies and organizations mentioned above. Dr. Rakich has been first author on numerous scientific publications. Novel telescope alignment techniques and understanding of underlying fundamentals of optical design and geometrical aberration theory have resulted from this work. The so called “Paul-Rumsey” telescope, a flat-field three-mirror anastigmat with the same performance as the Paul-Baker telescope but with only one aspheric mirror is one example of innovation. Dr. Rakich is the technical leader of a multi-institutional effort to incorporate new technologies of multiple-fibre ADM interferometers into the alignment of the world’s largest telescopes. Through his consulting company, Dr. Rakich continues to provide technical leadership and support in the areas of optical design and analysis, precision alignment, optical fabrication and metrology.
Focal-plane wavefront sensing for active optics in the VST based on an analytical optical aberration model
Manufacturing process for the WEAVE prime focus corrector optics for the 4.2m William Hershel Telescope
An improved collimation algorithm for the Large Binocular Telescope using source extractor and an on-the-fly reconstructor
Performance and results from the commissioning of the first acquisition, guiding, and wavefront sensing units for the Large Binocular Telescope
Evidence supporting the primacy of Joseph Petzval in the discovery of aberration coefficients and their application to lens design