Currently, Olsen is president of GHO Ventures in Princeton, New Jersey, where he manages his “angel” investments, South African winery, Montana ranch, and performs numerous speaking engagements to encourage children – especially minorities and women -- to consider careers in science and engineering. He is active in the New Jersey Tech Council (NJTC), NJTC Venture Fund, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the NJ Commission on Science and Technology.
“Greg’s commitment to education is remarkably consistent with the mission of Cento Amici,” said Robert Zito, Cento Amici president. “His generosity in giving back to the community and the students whose lives he has touched is a true picture of ‘leading by example.’ We are proud to welcome him into the Cento Amici family.”
Olsen was the third private citizen to orbit the earth on the International Space Station (ISS). After 900 hours of challenging training over five months at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Moscow, he launched on a Russian Soyuz rocket TMA-7 with Russian and American colleagues, docked to the ISS, and returned to earth on Soyuz TMA-6 with two other Russian and American colleagues. While in space, he conducted several experiments, performed more than 150 orbits of the earth and logged almost four million miles of weightless travel during his 10 days in space.
After receiving his BS Physics (1966), a BSEE and MS Physics (1968) from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Olsen then was awarded a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Virginia (1971). He performed post-doctoral studies at the University of Port Elizabeth (South Africa), taught elementary physics classes, and then worked as a research scientist at RCA Labs (Sarnoff Labs) from 1972 to 1983. Olsen is an IEEE LEOS Fellow and the first recipient of the prestigious IEEE Aron Kressel Award.
Olsen founded EPITAXX, a fiber-optic detector manufacturer in 1984. It was sold in 1990. He then founded Sensors Unlimited, a near-infrared camera manufacturer in 1992. Sensors was sold to Finisar Corp. in 2000, repurchased by the management team in 2002, and later sold to Goodrich Corp. in 2005.
Olsen is active in many civic organizations including Trenton Big Brothers and Sisters, Trenton Boys and Girls Club, Trenton Soup Kitchen, Princeton Historical Society, Custer Battlefield Preservation Committee and Fairleigh Dickinson University and University of Virginia Alumni Associations.
Cento Amici is a nonprofit, community-based member organization dedicated to providing need-based scholarship assistance to qualified New Jersey students. Its goal is to heighten the educational opportunities for those who are most underserved by existing need-based programs.
For more information visit www.centoamici.org.