Stanislav ‘Stas’ Ionov

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Stanislav “Stas” Ionov, a laser and optics expert at Hughes Research Laboratories was killed Saturday morning in a Malibu traffic accident while riding his bicycle. He was 46.

Described by his colleagues as “a renaissance man” with a terrific sense of humor, Ionov was an athlete who regularly rode his bicycle along the coast and ran in marathons. Ionov was a Calabasas resident and 10-year veteran at HRL in Malibu. He was recognized as an expert in lasers. Ionov received his undergraduate degree at the Moscow Physical Technical Institute in 1982. He was a research assistant for Nobel Laureate P.L. Kapista’s group. Ionov received his doctorate degree at the Institute of Spectroscopy of Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1986. That led to a prestigious directorship at the Research Center for Technological Lasers at the Soviet Academy of Sciences.

Ionov came to the United States and worked at UCLA’s Chemistry Department as a postdoctoral researcher from 1989-1991, and then became an adjunct professor. He also worked at USC from 1991-1994. In August 1994, Ionov joined the Optical Physics Laboratory at HRL.

“In 1999, Stas proudly became a U.S. citizen,” his coworkers at the lab wrote in a statement issued this week.

“In technical circles, Stas was known as a scientist with great inventiveness, deep scientific understanding and keen analytical skills.”

Ionov is survived by his wife, Irina, and daughter, Sophie. Funeral plans are pending.