George Barbastathis is a mechanical engineer known for creating an optical invisibility cloak, a calcite crystal system that may make possible hiding objects in plain sight.
Barbastathis is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and holds the Singapore Research Professorship in Optics for the year 2011. Between December 2010 – August 2011 he was a Faculty Resident with the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Centre. He received the Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens in 1993, and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Caltech in 1994 and 1997, respectively. Between 1997-1999 he was a Post-doctoral Research Associate with the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Between 2006-2007 he was a Visiting Scholar with the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University. He has been the recipient of the Nikolaos Kritikos award in Mathematics, the 3M Innovation Award, the NSF Young Investigator Award, and the Esther & Harold E. Edgerton junior chair at MIT. His research is centered on the physics and engineering of 3D optical systems, in particular digital holography, volume holography, gradient-index media and transformation optics.