Speaker Profiles

Dr. Josh Conway, Program Manager, DARPA

Dr. Josh Conway joined DARPA in August 2012 as a program manager for the Microsystems Technology Office. In that role he has created, managed and transitioned many photonics programs that are critical to national security. This portfolio spans the space from position, navigation and timing (PNT) devices to electronic warfare and heterogeneous integration.  Given the emerging potential of integrated photonic systems, Dr Conway continues to be the photonics advocate within DARPA for a resurgence of funding to meet both civil and military needs.

Scott DeMars, Director, Product Engineering and Reliability, Infinera

Scott DeMars obtained his B.S. in Physics from the University of Minnesota in 1988 and Ph.D. in EE/Electophysics from the University of Southern California  in 1995.
He joined SDL’s R&D team in 1995 working on GaAs and InP semiconductor lasers for industrial and telecommunications applications.  From 1998, he managed R&D teams and led reliability and failure analysis efforts at SDL/JDSU.  In 2006, he joined Infinera as Sr. Manager of Product Engineering for photonic integrated circuit (PIC)-Module products and is now Director of Product Engineering and Reliability.  Dr. DeMars has over 25 publications in journals and conferences and two patents.

Peter De Dobbelaere, VP Engineering, Luxtera, Inc.

Peter De Dobbelaere received the Ph.D. degree in integrated optics from the University of Gent, Belgium in 1995. From 1995 to 1999, he was with Akzo-Nobel N.V., The Netherlands and U.S., where he was engaged in product development and reliability of polymer-based thermo-optic waveguide devices. In 1999, he joined OMM Inc., San Diego, CA, where he was responsible for product and technology development of MEMS-based optical switches. In 2004, he joined Luxtera, Inc., Carlsbad, CA, where he is currently responsible for engineering and technology development for silicon photonics products.

Chris Doerr, Director of Integrated Photonics, Acacia Communications

Christopher R. Doerr earned a B.S. in aeronautical engineering and a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was an Air Force pilot 1990-1991. Since joining Bell Labs in 1995, Doerr’s research has focused on integrated devices for optical communication. He received the OSA Engineering Excellence Award in 2002. He is a Fellow of IEEE and OSA. He was Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Photonics Technology Letters from 2006-2008. He was an Associate Editor for the Journal of Lightwave Technology from 2008-2011. He was awarded the IEEE William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award in 2009. He became a Bell Labs Fellow in 2011. He joined Acacia Communications in 2011.

Eric Hall, VP of Business Development, Aurrion

Eric Hall is the Vice President of Business Development for Aurrion. Eric has worked for over a decade in management and product development roles at optoelectronics startups, including as Director of Packaging and Test for Soraa, a LED and visible semiconductor laser manufacturer, and at Agility Communications, a manufacturer of widely tunable laser telecom lasers that was acquired by JDSU. Eric has a BS in Engineering Physics from the University of California at Berkeley, a MBA from Columbia Business School and a PhD from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Vikrant Lal, Director, Adv. Product Development, Infinera

Vikrant Lal received his BSEE from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India, MSEE from the University of Maryland, College Park, and Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara, in 1999, 2001, and 2006, respectively. At UCSB he demonstrated monolithically integrated tunable laser and SOA-MZI devices, which were among the most complex photonic integrated circuits at the time. He is currently the Director of Advanced Development in the Optical Integrated Circuit Group at Infinera. He has authored/co-authored over 50 publications in journals and conferences, and has been the co-author on 3 US patents.

Karen Liu, V.P. of Marketing, Components, Kaiam Corporation

Dr. Karen Liu has more than 25 years of experience in optics and communications. Prior to joining Kaiam Corporation as V.P. of Marketing, she was Principal Analyst at Ovum, having joined through its acquisition of RHK. In her decade as an analyst, her research focus was on emerging technologies in high bandwidth communications markets, most notably innovative optical components. She also provided strategic consulting to vendors for competitive analysis, market sizing, and roadmapping.

Previously, Karen was responsible for product planning and optical architecture of the initial release of Tellabs’ 7100 telecom optical transport system, and optical design of IBM 9729, the first DWDM datacom multiplexer. Those experiences gave her an appreciation for the interaction between enabling component technology and advances in networks and systems architecture. Karen received a PhD in applied physics from Stanford University in the field of fiber optics, and a BSE in mechanical engineering from Princeton University.

Arlon Martin, Senior Director of Marketing, Mellanox Technologies

Arlon is currently the Sr. Director of Marketing at Mellanox Technologies with responsibilities for the silicon photonics and interconnect products. Prior to Mellanox, Arlon was the VP of Marketing at Kotura, a silicon photonics company acquired by Mellanox. In the past, Arlon has held executive management and product development positions at Agility Communications, a tunable laser company acquired by JDSU, Lucent Technologies, and AT&T Bell Laboratories. Arlon participates in the IEEE standards committees for 40, 100, and 400 Gb/s Ethernet, the Ethernet Alliance, the CDFP-MSA, and the Open Optics MSA.

Dan Maynard, Business Develoment Manager, IBM Microelectronics Specialy Foundry

Dan Maynard received the B.S.E.E., M.S.E.E., and M.B.A. degrees, all from the University of Vermont, Burlington, in 1987, 1989, and 2006, respectively.  Currently he has the business responsibility for IBM Microelectronics’ development and commercialization of silicon photonics.  Dan has nearly 5 years of experience developing new businesses for IBM.  Prior to this, he managed a technology development group focused on high-end CMOS image sensors and a client specific BCD technology for power management.  He also has held several engineering positions in functional characterization, reticle design engineering, yield modeling, physical design characterization, and design for manufacturability at IBM.

Takahiro Nakamura, Chief Manager, PETRA

Takahiro Nakamura received the B.E., M.E., and D.E. degrees in electrical engineering from Osaka University in 1986, 1988, and 2005, respectively. He joined NEC Corporation, Kawasaki, Japan in 1988, where he engaged in research and development of laser diodes. He is currently a Chief Manager for the Photonics and Electronics Technology Research Association on a temporary basis. He is a member of the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers of Japan.

Kal Shastri, Distinguished Engineer, Cisco

Kal received his Ph.D. in Physics from Columbia University in 1985 and his Masters in Physics from IIT, Kanpur, India in 1976. Kal worked at AT&T Bell Laboratory from 1985 to 1996. He worked on the physical layer circuits for optical communication systems and hardware accelerator micro-controller and system.

In 1997, Kal founded AANetcom – first company to solve high speed interconnect problem by designing and commercializing multiple channel CMOS Serdes. AANetcom was acquired by PMC-Sierra in March, 2000. In 2002, Kal cofounded Lightwire – with the goal of solving high speed optical interconnects, using CMOS Photonics. Lightwire was acquired by Cisco in March, 2012.

Andreas Umbach, Vice President and General Manager, Finisar Germany

Andreas Umbach studied physics at Technische Hochschule Darmstadt and at Technische Universität Berlin. His diploma thesis was carried out at the Fraunhofer Institut für Mikrostruktur-Technologie. In 1989 he joined Heinrich-Hertz-Institut and worked on Indium-Phosphide based HEMTs, high-speed photodetectors and optoelectronic millimeter-wave integrated circuits. In 1998 Andreas co-founded u²t Photonics AG, a leading supplier of 40 and 100 Gbit/s components and served as Founder and CEO. In January 2014 Finisar Corp. acquired all shares of u²t Photonics AG, today Andreas is Vice President and General Manager at Finisar Germany.

Alfredo Viglienzoni, SVP of Marketing, Sales and Business Development, Skorpios Technologies

Alfredo is currently SVP of Marketing, Sales and Business Development for Skorpios Technologies. Alfredo’s latest responsibility was Senior Director Business Development, preceded by the position of Head of Strategic Programs, both roles within the IP and Broadband Unit at Ericsson. His main objective was to ensure IP and Broadband commercial and technical leadership, including the identification of novel and disruptive technologies as well as innovative companies to create successful ecosystems.
Previously he was Head of the Optical Network Business within Ericsson. He was responsible for the complete optical portfolio P&L, product and technology strategy, ownership of the R&D budget and scope. He was Head of Photonics for Ericsson, formerly Marconi, at sites in the UK, Italy, and Germany. He developed the first MultiHaul photonic platform, which has been deployed by numerous customers for Core and Metro applications and ensured sizeable market share growth.

After a degree in Physics, his career began with R&D activities in solid-state physics and material science, then electronics, digital imaging and network enabling technologies at University, CERN and 3M. He has been a visiting scientist at CERN in Geneva. This was followed by business development and technical management positions for 3M Corp in Europe and USA. Here he led the technical development of a novel medical laser, played a key role in the development of digital radiography technologies. Prior to Marconi he was with Pirelli then Cisco, where he was head of project management for the whole optical portfolio from optical components like lasers, modulators and fibers to terrestrial and submarine systems.

He holds some 10 unique patents. He has published several papers on innovation and business management, material science, and telecommunications.

Glenn Wellbrock, Director of Optical Transport Planning, Verizon
Glenn Wellbrock is the director of optical transport network architecture, design and planning at Verizon, where he is responsible for the development and deployment of new technologies for both the metro and long haul transport infrastructure.

Prior to this position, Wellbrock ran the advanced technology lab, established evaluation criteria and set engineering guidelines for all backbone transport equipment as well as various positions within network operations.  

In addition to his more than 20 years at Verizon (1984-2001 and 2004-present), Wellbrock was responsible for product architecture within the U.S. optical networks group at Marconi and product planning at Qplus Networks with a specific focus on developing alternative modulation techniques.