OSA Election for 2015 Offices
Candidate Profiles and Statements

Candidates for Vice President
Candidates for Director at Large

OSA Candidates for Vice President (1 will be elected)
Thomas L. Koch


Thomas KochThomas L. Koch is Dean of the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona (UA), where he is also Professor of Optical Sciences and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  He received his BA in physics in 1977 from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in applied physics in 1982 from the California Institute of Technology, studying under Amnon Yariv.

Koch brings broad perspectives from his experience in both industry and academe.   In his new role at UA overseeing one of the top optics education and research institutions in the U.S., he has aimed to increase the impact and vitality of the college through increased public and private sector partnerships, expansion of scholarship support and infrastructure, and stronger faculty participation in developing solutions to the college’s many challenges.  Koch joined UA from Lehigh University, where he helped faculty incubate a wide spectrum of multidisciplinary programs as Director of the Center for Optical Technologies.

Prior to his academic roles, Koch held Vice President positions at SDL, Lucent, and Agere Systems, where he was responsible for research and development of materials, and device and subsystem technologies supporting optical, optoelectronic, and IC products.  In his many years as a researcher at Bell Laboratories, his work focused on semiconductor lasers, photonic integrated circuits and their implementation in optical communications systems. He has 37 issued patents, has authored more than 350 journal, conference, and book publications, including co-editing the widely-read two-volume book Optical Fiber Telecommunications III, and he has delivered more than 65 plenary, invited, tutorial, and short course presentations.  Koch has received numerous recognitions, including the IEEE’s Eric E. Sumner Award, and the William Streifer and Distinguished Lecturer Awards from IEEE LEOS.  Koch is a Fellow of OSA, Bell Labs and the IEEE, a life member of SPIE, and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, where he is currently Chair of the Electronics, Communication and Information Systems Engineering section.

Koch has been an active volunteer for OSA.  He recently served on the OSA Board of Directors and the OSA Audit Committee. He has been both General and Program Chair for major OSA meetings including OFC, IPR, ACP, AOE, as well as for a host of topical meetings and sister society meetings such as the LEOS Annual Meeting, the Group IV Photonics Conference, and the International Semiconductor Laser Conference.  He has served on the OFC Steering Committee (1997-2003), as AOE and ACP Steering Committee Chair, Co-chair and member (2007-2013), led many workshops and served on over 35 program committees for conferences such as CLEO and OFC.  He has served on many awards committees for OSA, the IEEE, and other foundations, and he has also been active in leadership with the IEEE Photonics Society as Vice President for Technical Affairs, Vice President for Finance, and as an elected Board of Governors member.  He has participated on many National Academy and government laboratory or agency review panels, as well as on many domestic and international advisory boards for both public and private sector enterprises.


OSA has a long and proud history of bringing value to its members by providing outstanding staff and a framework that enables members themselves to fuel a powerful collection of vehicles – conferences, workshops, publications, outreach and education, and advocacy – where we learn from each other, help each other prosper in our careers, and contribute to the progress in our field.
This collective endeavor has worked remarkably well.  We face both an opportunity and a challenge in ensuring OSA’s continued cohesiveness and vitality as our successes promote a membership that will become increasingly diverse in geography, in culture, and, especially, in discipline.
One of the engines behind OSA’s success is volunteerism.  I believe focusing on continued development of our network of volunteers, both students and professionals, is an imperative for OSA.  As our reach expands globally, we need to be effective in attracting strong participation from the most accomplished and influential scientific and technological talent worldwide.  Beyond geography, this also requires attracting students and leaders who will champion our reach into increasingly diverse disciplines that are being impacted by our scientific advances.  We must also recruit industry leaders who can champion our reach into the communities where many of our advances are ultimately turned into value for society.
In addition to our volunteers, the quality and adaptability of our products is critical.  High quality conferences and publications are the hallmark of OSA, and a healthy future will require vigilance in creating the most effective offerings for each and every one of our constituents, whether they be in different countries, different disciplines, in academics or industry.  Our new high-impact journal, Optica, and our journal partnership in China, Photonics Research, are exciting in this regard.  OSA might also benefit from a wider spectrum of conference features or even publications for the practitioners community to serve members engaged in activities ranging from clinical studies of biophotonics technology to bleeding edge product development.  Just as regional hierarchical and cultural differences require adaptation of our offerings, so will bridging into new disciplines and markets.
I am also excited by the prospect of OSA playing an even stronger role in educational outreach.  We need to take responsibility for our own talent pipeline by attracting young students into the science, technology, engineering and math fields.  Beyond government advocacy for education funding, OSA can champion partnerships among educational institutions, professional societies, industry and government to facilitate volunteers in engaging young students with the appeal of optics in the classroom, in science fairs, and in entertaining outreach activities.
I believe my experience in both the academic and business communities has given me genuine respect for the importance of championing the entire spectrum of OSA’s member interests that span from fundamental sciences to commercial technology.  I hope I can bring valuable perspectives in helping OSA to grow its capacity to create new products, activities, and partnerships that will bring high value to our diverse communities.  It would be a great honor for me to serve as Vice President of OSA.

Eric Mazur


Eric MazurEric Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University and Area Dean of Applied Physics.  An internationally recognized scientist and researcher, he leads a vigorous research program in optical physics and supervises one of the largest research groups in the Physics Department at Harvard University.  Dr. Mazur founded several companies and plays an active role in industry.  He has served OSA previously as Director at Large.
Dr. Mazur came to Harvard University in 1982 after obtaining his Ph.D. at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.  In 1984 he joined the faculty and obtained tenure six years later.  Dr. Mazur has made important contributions to spectroscopy, light scattering, the interaction of ultrashort laser pulses with materials, and nanophotonics.  He received an Honorary Doctorate from the École Polytechnique and the University of Montreal (2008) and holds Honorary Professorships from Beijing University of Technology, Beijing Normal University, and the Institute of Semiconductor Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Eric Mazur has received numerous awards, including the Esther Hoffman Beller award from The Optical Society and the Millikan Medal from the American Association of Physics Teachers.  He is a Fellow of OSA and the American Physical Society, and a Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of the Netherlands and the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities.  He has held appointments as Visiting Professor or Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Leuven in Belgium, National Taiwan University in Taiwan, Carnegie Mellon University, and Hong Kong University.
Dr. Mazur has served on numerous committees and councils, including advisory and visiting committees for the National Science Foundation, and has chaired and organized national and international scientific conferences.  He serves as a consultant to industry in the electronics and telecommunications industry.  In 2006 he founded SiOnyx, a company that is commercializing black silicon, a new form of silicon developed in Mazur's laboratory, and he is currently serving as chair of its Scientific Advisory Board.  In 2011 he founded Learning Catalytics, a company that uses data analytics to improve learning in the classroom. The company was acquired by Pearson in 2013. Mazur is Chief Academic Advisor for Turning Technologies and serves on the Scientific Advisory Panel for Allied Minds, a pre-seed investment company creating partnerships with key universities to fund corporate spin-outs in early stage technology companies.
In addition to his work in optical physics, Mazur has been very active in education. In 1990 he began developing Peer Instruction, a method for teaching large lecture classes interactively.  Dr. Mazur's teaching method has developed a large following, both nationally and internationally, and has been adopted across many science disciplines.  Dr. Mazur is author or co-author of close to 300 scientific publications, 23 patents, and several books, including Principles and Practice of Physics (2014), a book that presents a groundbreaking new approach to teaching introductory calculus-based physics. Mazur is a sought-after speaker on optics and on education.


I began working with lasers as an undergraduate in Europe in 1975 and have been active in optics ever since. The past four decades have provided me with extensive experience in the two main constituencies of the OSA membership:  I have been a member of academia with an active research career in optics, and a part-time entrepreneur in the photonics industry. Given optics’ increasing role in energy, medicine, information technology, and other important economic sectors, linking academia and industry is more important than ever before. I would like to devote part of my efforts as a member of the OSA leadership team to strengthening OSA’s role in facilitating this link. One way is to provide additional opportunities at national meetings to enhance communication and collaboration between academia and industry.
As an educator and education researcher, I also would like to stress the importance of inspiring future generations of researchers and innovators. I am convinced that better science education for all — not just science majors — is vital for continued scientific progress. Because optics cuts across such a wide range of disciplines, the societal impact of education and outreach efforts by OSA can be very significant. The digital age provides a new avenue for reaching parts of the population that could not be reached easily before. As an avid adopter of new digital technologies, I would like to expand OSA’s sphere of influence around the world using these new technologies. The aims of this broadened reach are to attract the brightest minds to the world of optics, to increase the participation of women in a still mostly male-dominated optics world, and to turn OSA into a model for the professional society of the future.
Finally, OSA’s role in disseminating research results through the publication of premier peer-reviewed journals is evolving quickly due to new opportunities created by electronic publishing and archiving. OSA has led the industry by creating one of the first all-electronic peer- reviewed journals. Now is the time to push for additional changes and explore new ways of combining electronic dissemination with professional networking.  I would like to see OSA stay at the forefront of the academic publishing industry through additional innovations in the way it disseminates peer-reviewed information.
It is an exciting time for OSA. The organization is well positioned to extend its global impact and help advance optics industry, research, and education. I look forward to contributing my energy and experience to the large and diverse community of OSA and the opportunities that lay ahead.

OSA Candidates for Director at Large (3 will be elected)

Jay M. Eastman


Jay EastmanJay Eastman received his B.S. (1970) and Ph.D. (1974) from The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Following completion of his degrees he became the manager of engineering in the Optics Group at Spectra Physics in Mountain View, California. From there he joined the staff of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester, progressing from staff engineer to Project Manager for the construction of the 24 beam Omega Laser Fusion System. He finally served as the Director of the Laboratory after the departure of its founding director.
Dr. Eastman has subsequently formed four start-up companies, with three of them having strong optics and photonics technology bases. The first was Optel Systems Inc., (subsequently acquired by PSC, Inc.) which developed the first hand-held laser diode-based bar code scanners in the world. During the 1990’s the company became a recognized leader in field of bar code scanning. Next was Lucid, Inc., a pioneer in the development of in-vivo confocal microscopy for the diagnosis of skin cancer. The confocal imagers, called VivaScopes, have been used by medical researchers around the world for research and clinical diagnosis of skin cancers, resulting in over 350 peer-reviewed publications in various medical journals and several books on the use of confocal microscopy in dermatology. Eastman is now involved as a co-founder in two more start-up medical companies, one of which is heavily based on optical technology. As a consequence of his work in these companies, he is a named inventor on 44 issued U.S. patents.
In addition to his entrepreneurial pursuits, Dr. Eastman has served as an adjunct professor at the Institute of Optics over the years since he received his Ph.D., periodically teaching courses in optical fabrication, optical thin films, product development and entrepreneurism. Dr. Eastman’s honors, awards and professional contributions and achievements include: member of the National Academy of Science’s Board of Assessment of NIST Programs, Panel for Physics (2000-2002); Herbert Vanden Brul Entrepreneur of the Year Award (1996-1997); The Optical Society: Engineering Excellence Award (1994), Board of Directors (1984-1988), Chair of the Technical Council; Rochester Engineering Society - Engineer of the Year (1997); Rochester Museum and Science Center - Distinguished Lecturer; Rochester Optical Society: Honorary Member (1992) and President; University of Rochester SMPTE Fellow, (1972-1973), and Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers - Board of Governors.  He is a Fellow of OSA and the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.


I am an optical engineer by training and experience, and an entrepreneur by nature. My interest in optics began while in high school due to my hobbies of astronomy and precision target shooting. These activities caused me to modify cameras for my telescopes and build high-power scopes for target shooting. My interests in these hobbies developed into a passion for optics and optical engineering. I applied on an early decision basis to the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester with the intent of pursuing a career in optical engineering. Shortly after receiving my Ph.D. in optics I became heavily involved with The Optical Society, ultimately becoming chair of the Technical Council, a member of the Board of Directors and finally, a Fellow of the society.
The opportunity to serve again on the Board of Directors is of interest to me because, after 40 years of experience in the field of optics and photonics, I can bring a much different and broader perspective to the society than was possible when I first served. Three specific aims I am interested in pursuing as a Board member are:
  1. Assisting the society as it moves the National Photonics Initiative from concept through federal legislative successes, and from there to operational programs and facilities that advance the state of the art of optics and photonics technologies in the United States and around the world, thus serving as a catalyst for strong partnerships among industry, academia and government. This, in turn, should speed translation of research results into products and applications that can provide jobs and grow the economy, both now and in the future.
  2. Working with members at the Board level and throughout the society to develop “fun” optics demonstrations for elementary and high school students as a means of sparking their interest in pursuing STEM studies. Optics is unique in that the results of simple experiments can be perceived visually. This brings a strong “reality” to the science. In Rochester, individuals from local optics and photonics companies are forging programs of this nature that are experiencing significant early success. Replicating this success in other areas of the country should be straightforward. 
  3. Developing a plan for attracting more engineers and technical entrepreneurs into the society. OSA has long been the preeminent organization and natural home for leading researchers and faculty in the field of optics and photonics. The society now has the resources necessary to expand its reach into the engineering and technical entrepreneurship communities. I will appreciate the opportunity to work with other like-minded members of the society to gather data and plan compelling programs that will attract engineers and entrepreneurs into OSA.

Amy Eskilson


Amy EskilsonAmy Eskilson has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Inrad Optics, located in Northvale, NJ, since October 2012.  Inrad Optics is a manufacturer of exceptional quality crystal materials, crystal devices and high precision optical components.  As the leader of a small publicly-held company, Ms. Eskilson has a responsibility to both the business and to its shareholders.  She also embraces her role as the company’s Chief Culture Officer, and as such works to mentor younger employees as well as challenge and excite longtime contributors.  A strong advocate for localized manufacturing, Amy is focused on building an organization that is competitive and profitable while delivering products with extraordinary optical specifications. 

Ms. Eskilson joined Inrad Optics in early 2011 as VP Sales and Marketing, charged with leading the sales team and building a market presence for Photonics Product Group, an umbrella company for the original Inrad, Laser Optics and MRC Precision Metal Optics brands.  The multiple brand names had led to confusion in the industry and Amy executed an effort to rename and rebrand the organization.  In January 2012 the business officially became Inrad Optics and launched a new website and marketing push concurrent with that name change. 

Prior to joining the Inrad Optics team, Amy spent 18 years with Thorlabs Inc., the photonic tools catalog company.  In 1992 she came on board the fledgling business as an inside sales representative.  She grew along with the business, assuming progressively more responsible roles, including call center and technical sales manager, as well as heading the trade show and sponsorship areas.
In 2002 Ms. Eskilson’s role at Thorlabs became more strategic and outward facing.  As Director of Business Development and a key member of the Thorlabs senior team, Amy’s work focused on three main areas – acquisitions, building the Thorlabs strategic partner companies, and contracts, including licensing agreements, real estate matters, and supply agreements in partnership with outside counsel.
Amy is an engaged advocate for photonics, championing the field from the importance of basic research through the downstream commercialization of photonics technologies.
Ms. Eskilson has also been active in several photonics start-up companies.  She was a minority partner in optics and crystals manufacturer Nova Phase, Inc. and Menlo Systems Inc. (U.S. spin-out of Menlo Systems GmbH), both based in Newton, NJ. Amy currently serves as a member of the Board and minority partner in Idesta Quantum Electronics, Newton, NJ.
A member of OSA and SPIE, Ms. Eskilson has served on the OSA Public Policy Committee, the CLEO Joint Council on Applications, and as former chair of the CLEO Exhibitor Advisory Committee.  She was recently profiled for the 2014-2015 SPIE “Women in Optics” Daily Planner publication.
Prior to discovering optics and photonics in 1992, Amy received her BA degree in Communications from Montclair State University in 1987 and spent several years in New York at McCann-Erickson, the worldwide advertising group.


I first became involved with The Optical Society in 1993 when I attended the CLEO conference in Baltimore as an exhibitor.   As an employee of a young start-up company, I was afforded a unique opportunity to learn both the business and academic sides of the optics and photonics community.

I quickly came to understand how critically important basic research is to the OSA membership.  I learned about the rigorous and exhaustive process of peer-reviewed journals and the commitment that work entails from both contributors and editors.  It was exciting to work in a field where innovation was happening every day, and exciting to witness the downstream commercialization that is the dynamic outcome of the laboratory efforts of optical science research.
Over the next twenty years I became more involved with OSA as a volunteer, serving on the CLEO Exhibitor Advisory Committee, as Chair of the EAC and CLEO Steering Exhibitor Representative, as a member of the CLEO Long Range Planning Committee, and, most recently, on the CLEO Joint Committee on Applications.  

In 2012 I was asked to serve on the OSA Public Policy Committee.   As a member of the PPC, I endeavored to contribute intelligent advocacy in the areas of open access to publications, natural resources, energy, STEM education, the National Photonics Initiative, and the upcoming International Year of Light 2015.  I have also participated in multiple congressional visits as a representative of The Optical Society.  Through this work I have come to view the field of optics and photonics as a vibrant and diverse global ecosystem of government, academia, non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses, each highly interdependent on each other to flourish as a whole.

It is this global perspective that I offer the membership of OSA.  My candidacy for Director at Large, as a non-academic CEO of a small optics company, would have been unlikely in the not too distant past.  The OSA now has multiple opportunities to actively diversify its membership as well as its governing body. I believe that conscious diversification, where the foundational legacy of basic research informs that diversity, will ensure a sustainable and exceptional quality Optical Society for many years to come.

Juerg Leuthold


Juerg LeutholdJuerg Leuthold is the head of the Institute of Electromagnetic Fields at ETH Zurich, Switzerland.  His research interests are in the field of optical communications, nonlinear optics, plasmonics and photonics for sensing and biomedical applications.  For this purpose, he maintains and shares lab facilities for the fabrication, characterization, and system-level testing of integrated optical devices and the testing of larger systems.  He has contributed more than 450 scientific journal and conference papers as an author and coauthor.

Juerg Leuthold is actively engaged in The Optical Society and serves the optical community in several capacities.  Besides serving as a member and chair of technical program committees, he was the general chair of the OSA 2010 Advanced Optics and Photonics Congress in Karlsruhe, and a group chair and general chair of the OSA Photonics Division.  He is currently a member of the OSA Meetings Council.

Juerg Leuthold received his Ph.D. in physics from ETH Zurich in 1998 for work in the field of integrated optics.  From 1999 to 2004 he was affiliated with Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies in Holmdel, NJ, USA, where he performed device and system research. From July 2004 to February 2013 he was a full Professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), where he was head of the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics (IPQ) and head of the Helmholtz Research Institute of Micro Structure Technology (IMT).  He has been a full Professor at ETH Zurich since March 2013. Juerg Leuthold is a Fellow of OSA and IEEE.  In Germany he was a member of the Helmholtz Association Think Tank and the Heidelberg Academy of Science.


The Optical Society is the largest organization in our field with the ability to connect our worldwide community of scientists, engineers, teachers, and industrial partners.  And while optics is, and has been, making important contributions, one might assume that we are a large community.  But, as a matter of fact, we are spread across the whole globe, and thus typically are just a small group of people in a particular part of the world working on a topic.  In this context, the role of OSA is to create community networks around topics that are of interest to the various groups, to enable easy exchange of novel results and developments, and to offer a platform to discuss new trends.  OSA also administers one of the largest knowledge databases in our field of optics and handles an interesting set of meetings and conferences.

A priority of the Board has to be the future OSA. This includes, but is not limited to, the following aspects:
  • Meetings:  The future OSA is an OSA that will empower its members to organize global and local meetings backed up by the tools of a larger organization.
  • OSA database:  The future OSA is a society that can make its knowledge accessible anywhere, to anybody, at any time, at the lowest possible threshold.
  • New Media:  The future OSA is accessible through new media. So, for example, I believe that in the future our community should be able to offer online meeting participation. This is in response to environmental needs, but also in view of the time constraints of our members.
  • New Topics:  The future OSA is an organization that not only continuously reinvents itself, but that also constantly reaches out for new topics. The emphasis thereby is not on more meetings, but on fewer meetings with a higher impact.  This is achieved by an active exchange of ideas and through active collaboration with sister organizations in order to avoid overlap.
  • Education:  The future OSA offers high-quality training material at all levels through courses, online seminars, journals and books.
The future OSA – while being a global organization – acts locally.  It is a society where the “A” in “OSA” will also stand for the Americas, Asia, Australia, Africa and, last but not least, “Amazing Europe.”

José R. Salcedo


José SalcedoJosé Salcedo is currently co-founder and CEO of ATLA Lasers, a startup company based in Trondheim, Norway, that focuses on mid-infrared femtosecond laser sources for oil and gas detection/fingerprinting.  José was born in Porto, Portugal, and educated at Univ. Porto, where he obtained an Electrical Engineering degree in 1973, followed by M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1974 and 1978, as a Fulbright and NATO Fellow working with Prof. Robert Byer and Prof. Anthony Siegman respectively. After holding the position of IBM Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford to continue his work with Prof. Siegman on picosecond laser techniques/applications, José joined Westinghouse Electrical Corp. in Pittsburgh as Senior Scientist.  In 1981 he returned to his native Portugal as Associate Professor of Physics, where he started an optoelectronics group at Univ. Porto and co-established INESC Porto, currently the main technology R&D institute in the country, and its Optoelectronics Center.  During this time José co-established and led the first undergraduate and graduate programs in lasers and fiber optics in Portugal.  He was also a driving force behind the large-scale deployment of fiber optics in Portugal, co-leading the first training programs for Portugal Telecom engineers and staff through the first R&D contracts signed by the company.

During 1994/1995, José served as Executive Director of the National Science and Technology Fund, a five-year 500M Euro Fund established by the government of Portugal to finance national R&D activities in all scientific areas.  José set up the program management team, implemented program regulations and procedures in close cooperation with national and European authorities, and managed the financing of activities ranging from international graduate fellowships (7,500 in five years) to scientific projects, technical infrastructures and events.  This program made a significant contribution to the R&D environment, researcher population and social appreciation of science in the country.

José co-founded his first company, ENT, in 1995, and took the company to an exit in 2000, employing 150 people at the time.  ENT focused on providing optical networking and integrated services solutions to utility companies.  In 2000 he became a tenured Full Professor of Electrical Engineering at Univ. Porto, but he quit his position in 2002 to start his second laser-related company, Multiwave Photonics, with a group of former graduate students.  Multiwave focused on pulsed fiber lasers for industrial applications.  His work led to the IEEE 2009 Photonics Society Engineering Achievement Award, “in recognition of outstanding technical and leadership contributions to pulsed fiber lasers, in particular all-fiber ring laser architectures, and of his pioneering efforts aimed at developing, promoting and commercializing this technology in Portugal – and later in international markets.” He led the company to an exit in 2013, when he started his third company, ATLA Lasers, in Norway.

José R. Salcedo is a member of OSA, SPIE, IEEE and Academia Europaea.  At SPIE he served as a member of the European Advisory Committee and Symposia Committee.  José also served as General Chair of OSA’s FILAS - Fiber Lasers and Applications 2011 (Istanbul) and 2012 (San Diego).


I love science, but I love contributing to science to improve the lives of people even more. For me, this involves a close interplay of two processes: R&D and innovation.  Through R&D we transform an initial investment in knowledge; through innovation we use that knowledge to generate economic/social value, improving the conditions for subsequent investments leading to further knowledge.  Most people feel comfortable on one side of the equation only, but I feel comfortable on both, and my academic and professional life attests to it.

Working at interfaces and building bridges between different cultures is what I like to do best.  I bring entrepreneurship and its required sense of responsibility to everything that I collaborate on, with a high sensitivity to cultural factors that may help or hinder people to reach their best potential.  In the end, that contributes to freeing people, and freeing people is what education is all about.

I want to bring some measure of this integrated view into OSA, as the world is changing rapidly and people capable of building bridges between different cultures will play increasingly important roles in society at large.  Having lived and worked in many different parts of the world – America, Europe and Asia - I feel comfortable with different languages and cultures.

OSA is a highly prestigious science-driven professional organization that provides leading services to the optics and photonics community all over the world.  Most of those services are science-driven, but significant space for growth exists when we consider the challenges and opportunities offered by new realities created by fast-paced advancing technologies. The world is becoming more tightly connected, and bringing people together to sponsor and stimulate new and often unexpected opportunities has always been a strength of OSA.  I want to make a contribution of strategic significance to those bridging processes, further advancing the global reach of OSA and the relevance of its services to the optics and photonics community worldwide.

Martin Seifert


Martin SeifertMartin Seifert is the president of Nufern in East Granby, Connecticut, which was founded in 2000 as a Telco specialty fiber house.  Nufern successfully changed to a fiber laser and amplifier supplier for the industrial and military/aerospace markets in 2003, and was sold to Rofin in early 2008.  In 2010, Nufern expanded its product family by acquiring the fiber optic gyroscope coil winding business of Optelecom-NKF.  While Martin has predominantly been a business leader for the last thirty years, he graduated with a B.Sc. from the University of British Columbia and is named on a number of Nufern fiber, chip, and laser patents.

Prior to Nufern, Martin was the President and GM of Lucent Specialty Fibers, a position which came as a result of his successful turnaround of the foundering SpecTran specialty optical fiber manufacturing company and its subsequent sale to Lucent in 1999.

In 1992 Martin started and managed a successful combined hardware and software business at Rockwell, where he was also involved with merger, acquisition, and divestiture activities.  Before being recruited to turn around SpecTran, he was COO of Schweitzer Engineering Labs, a 350-person private company making mission critical microprocessor-based control and protection systems for the electric power industry.

From 1984 to 1989 Martin managed a drives and control system service organization within Bucyrus-Erie, now the mining division of CAT.

On a personal level, Martin and Robin Seifert raised their three sons in Connecticut and are active in local civic and education‑oriented organizations.


I believe that over the past decade, OSA has relinquished a valuable part of its intrinsic role as the preeminent authority over optical matters in industry and government.  I would like to help OSA regain this appropriate position of influence by encouraging the society to take defined positions on multiple topics.

The National Photonics Initiative offers a unique opportunity to reassert our leadership position with our government, not by asking for more money, but rather by recommending a more intelligent distribution of otherwise diminishing resources, matching rather than competing with European programs.  Similarly, it is prudent for OSA to discourage overreaching regulation, such as RoHS (the Restriction of Hazardous Substances directive), and the more expansive potential of the European Commission’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation.  Since we want to continue using our electronics and optics, it is far more valuable for society to learn how to use and recycle “dangerous” materials wisely than to push these industrial processes to unregulated parts of the world.

Similarly, ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) and “export control” remain the cudgel of U.S. cold war diplomacy.  Unfortunately, the thriving bureaucracies built to serve U.S. technological dominance now serve mostly to disincentivize U.S. technology companies, drive up the cost of all Western high technology, and reduce the value of a U.S. graduate technology education.  We simply should not stand by and hope that someone else fixes this problem for us.

Lastly, it is imperative that we work closely with Asia as they go through their industrial version of our 1960’s era, perhaps without the long hair, and with brassieres.  Nonetheless, with the same air pollution Los Angeles and Tokyo suffered and the same water pollution as on the burning Cuyahoga River, our colleagues in China understand the need to change and are doing so rapidly.  To help them is to be a part of their future as well.

Optical technologies, now more than ever, will drive all of our economies, but only if we embrace the industry.  OSA is well positioned to help define the best course for all of us to take.  I would be honored to be a part of it.

Lluis Torner


Lluis TornerLluis Torner obtained a Ph.D. at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya-Barcelona Tech in 1989 after completing a degree in Physics at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.  He was a post-doctoral researcher at CREOL, University of Central Florida, and at the Optical Sciences Center, University of Arizona.  He has been Full Professor at Barcelona Tech since 2000.  He works in nonlinear optics and its applications, with emphasis on optical solitons, nonlinear waves and optical vortices. His research papers have been quoted more than 10,000 times to date and his current h-index is about 50.  He is a Fellow of OSA and the European Physical and Optical Societies.  He is the recipient of a number of national awards and recognitions, including the OSA 2011 Leadership Award.

Prof. Torner conceived, founded, implemented and serves as the Director of ICFO (http://www.icfo.eu).  The institute was launched in 2002 with the mission to become a leading research center in optics and photonics.  Today it hosts some 300 researchers, organized in 22 research groups led by leading scientists, working in a dedicated building in the Mediterranean Technology Park in the metropolitan Barcelona area.  ICFO is listed as one of the top research centers in the Physics category of the Mapping Scientific Excellence ranking of research institutions worldwide based on high-quality papers.

Prof. Torner secured the largest philanthropic donation to date for a single scientific institution in Spain, awarded by the Cellex Foundation Barcelona. The funding is being used to support the Cellex Nest at ICFO, a program that offers outstanding career-boosting opportunities to post-doctoral and tenure-track young researchers. Prof. Torner actively supported the creation of OSA’s International Network of Students (IONS), which originated at ICFO.

Prof. Torner is a member of the Board of the Committee for Research and Innovation of the Government of Catalonia and member of the Board of Governors of the Foundation for Internet and Digital Information of Catalonia, the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, the Institution of the Research Centers of Catalonia, and the Mediterranean Technology Park Consortium.  He also served on the Board of Directors of the European Physical Society’s Quantum Electronics and Optics Division and is now serving on the Board of Stakeholders of the European Technology Platform Photonics21.  He serves as President of the Association of Research Institutions of Catalonia, an organization that comprises 43 research institutes, together employing more than 5000 researchers.


I joined The Optical Society as an apprentice researcher based in Barcelona, Spain, some 25 years ago and it has been my main professional home since.  Its high-quality publications, conferences and meetings have been a continuous source of inspiration.  I gladly admit that every single issue of Optics and Photonics News not only entertains and surprises me, but also educates me on a variety of topics within our field.

Over the years, I have been fortunate to serve on some OSA committees and to interact with OSA’s staff in a number of matters, and I have always been delighted by the staff’s attitude and professionalism.  I still remember a Sunday in Beijing a few years ago when I was suddenly told at breakfast that I had to talk at a meeting in a few hours with the Chinese President of the Academy of Sciences and  the Minister for Research.  I needed some information from OSA, so I sent an email to a staff member at headquarters.  I received a reply in a couple of hours, just in time for the meeting.  That was on a Sunday, and I was just a regular OSA member.

I have served on the International Council, where I witnessed the enthusiasm and dedication of the members of the council and supporting OSA staff to all matters devoted to outreach.  Their efforts make a difference for many communities, including those located in less favored regions of our own countries and around the world.

OSA gives me plenty in terms of knowledge and values.  I want to give back.  I am particularly interested in addressing issues of relevance to students and young researchers.  It takes only about one-tenth of a second for light to circle our small planet Earth, embracing a world full of young talent eager to join ambitious projects that contribute to pushing the limits of knowledge and to tackling the challenges faced by our society.  I supported launching OSA’s International Network of Students because I find OSA’s student chapters to be one of the great treasures of the Society.  The support that the chapters receive translates into new opportunities for ambitious students and future leaders.  Vigorous outreach programs and advocacy for the importance and relevance of optics and photonics to society are now more important than ever.  The International Year of Light 2015 offers a unique opportunity to amplify and to make visible our efforts, and programs ought to be put in place to keep the momentum going beyond 2015, ideally in collaboration with other global and regional sister organizations.  Finally, I would like to vigorously support OSA’s welcoming atmosphere to international members that I and many others continuously enjoy.