Rod Alferness is currently the Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of OSA and the IEEE Photonics Society. He served as OSA president in 2008 and as a member of the OSA Board of Directors from 2001 to 2003. He has authored over 100 papers and 5 book chapters and holds 35 patents. His work and research has earned him numerous awards throughout his career, including the OSA Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award in 2010, the IEEE Millennium Award and the IEEE Photonics Award. In 2018, he received OSA’s Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize “for basic contributions and leadership in the development of integrated optics, high-speed optical modulation and switching, and configurable WDM networks that have provided significant economic and societal impact.’’
Alferness is world-renowned for his work on integrated-optic devices and optical switching technology and architecture. His research has been central to the development of global fiber optic communications networks. As Chief Scientist at Bell Labs, he was responsible for strategic directions, technical excellence, and global partnerships. In a prior role, as Senior Vice President for Research he had overall responsibility for the company's global research laboratories, and as Chief Technical Officer for Bell Labs' parent company, Lucent Technologies, Alferness was responsible for transferring the optical technology he and co-workers had invented to the business units.