Nelson E. Claytor awarded the Fort Worth Business Press C-Suite Award for outstanding leadership in the community as a C-level executive.
The following is an excerpt from Fort Worth Business Press
Volume 31, Issue 23, June 24 - 30, 2019
Nelson E. Claytor
PRESIDENT | FRESNEL TECHNOLOGIES INC.
Nelson E. Claytor, Ph.D., is the president of Fresnel Technologies Inc. (FTI), a privately owned manufacturer of precision diamond-machined and molded optics. Claytor assumed overall executive leadership of Fresnel Technologies Inc. in January 2002, after many years of overseeing diverse areas of the company as vice president. Fresnel Technologies’ products, which are shipped to almost 50 countries, are designed and produced in the near Southside of Fort Worth.
In addition to supporting the fabrication of products, Claytor and FTI’s technical staff contribute to scientific knowledge through articles in trade and professional journals. Claytor and the FTI team continue to develop optics used in many fields, including energy efficiency, security, lighting, medical diagnostic instrumentation, remote sensing and displays. A senior member of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and a member of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, the Society of Plastics Engineers and the American Society for Precision Engineering, Claytor is recognized as an expert in the design and fabrication of specialty plastic optics.
Claytor earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and master’s and doctoral degrees in atomic physics from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He did a postdoctoral fellowship at the E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, during which he was the primary on-site coordinator for an extensive experiment investigating atomic collisions at the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS), in Brookhaven, New York. The laboratory is well known as the facility at which research leading to three Nobel Prizes was performed.
Claytor and his family live in a century-old house in the Fairmount Southside Historic District of Fort Worth and support the revitalization of the near Southside. He is president of the Fort Worth Opera board of trustees and is on the University of Texas at Arlington College of Science Advisory Council. He is also a founding board member of Tech Fort Worth and received the inaugural Tech Fort Worth Legacy Award in 2017. Claytor is a member of Leadership Fort Worth’s Class of 1998.
What do you like best about your job?
Seeing people develop. We offer educational benefits at Fresnel Technologies, and I have been so proud to see employees earn their degrees, including a Ph.D., an MBA, numerous BAs, and numerous AAs. We have one who is about to leave for the very highly regarded Ph.D. program in optics at the University of Central Florida, and we are excited that one day she may come back!
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Put as much effort as you can into helping others get what they want. It will pay off in ways you cannot imagine.
Who is your hero or someone you look up to and why?
My dad is the closest thing I have to a hero. He founded my company, and he taught me all kinds of useful things growing up while we worked on rent houses in Fort Worth. His work ethic and creativity are amazing. I look up to so many people, but a great example is the conductor of my high school orchestra, the late William Thomas. He was truly extraordinary at making people believe in themselves, and I can only hope that a little of that has rubbed off on me.
Tell us something about yourself that we would not know to ask.
I enjoy performance driving and am an instructor for several groups. I have (with others) two, soon to be three, patents on a motorsports-related technology that came out of my driving experiences.
What’s your favorite fun activity to do in Fort Worth?
It’s not quite in Fort Worth, but driving on the tracks at Motorsport Ranch in Cresson.
Fort Worth Business Press
Volume 31, Issue 23
June 24 - 30, 2019