Speaker Profiles

Mehdi Asghari, VP of Silicon Photonics R&D, Mellanox, USA

Dr. Mehdi Asghari has around 20 years of research and product development experience within the silicon photonics industry. Currently, Dr. Asghari is the VP of Silicon Photonics R&D at Mellanox. Prior to that he was the CTO at Kotura Inc. Previously Dr. Asghari served as VP of Research and Development at Bookham Inc. in the UK. Bookham was the first company commercializing Silicon photonics.

Dr. Asghari holds a Ph.D. degree in Optoelectronics from the University of Bath, a M.Sc. degree in Optoelectronics and Laser Devices from the Heriot-Watt and St. Andrews Universities, and a MA degree in Engineering from Cambridge University. He has authored or co-authored over 150 Journal and Conference publications and holds more than 15 active patents within the fields of silicon photonics and optoelectronics.

Yuval Bachar, Hardware Network Engineer, Facebook, USA

Yuval Bachar is a hardware network engineer at Facebook, responsible for the current and future networking hardware platform architecture and design. Prior to his role in Facebook Yuval Bachar was a Senior Director of Engineering in the CTO office in the Data Center Group at Cisco, which is responsible for the company’s data center product portfolio and next generation innovation. In this capacity, he drives and supports next generation systems’ architecture, product market positioning, and cross-Cisco product alignment. Yuval Bachar is also responsible for evangelizing new technologies around IoE and it’s integration to the data center architecture.

Prior to his role in Cisco Mr. Bachar served as VP/CTO of High-End Systems Business Unit at Juniper Networks. In this capacity, he drove Juniper’s high-end systems architecture, market, and technology positioning; including product, technology, and system level innovation and alignment across the company.

Earlier, Mr. Bachar served in a range of roles at Cisco Systems for over 12 years. In his most recent role he served as Principal Engineer/Technical Director in the Routing and Service Provider Technology Group where he was responsible for system level architecture in the Core Routing Business Unit. Previously, Mr. Bachar held management roles for groups ranging from 5 to 75 people, managing ASIC, hardware, software and test teams. Prior to that Mr. Bachar worked in a technical leader role in the Desktop Switching Business Unit responsible for the first Cisco desktop modular switch as well as the architecture for the current generation for the Cisco desktop switching products (the Catalyst 3K family).

Scott Bickham, Senior Development Associate, Corning, USA

Scott Bickham has been an optical physicist and fiber design expert in the optical fiber applied research/development group for Corning Optical Fiber since 1999.  He holds the title of Senior Development Associate and received the 2014 Development Excellence Award for his sustained contributions to product and process development at Corning.
Scott has been designing multimode fibers since 2006 and led the development efforts that yielded the world’s first bend-insensitive multimode fiber.  He also contributed to the development of low attenuation submarine fibers, bend-insensitive single-mode fibers, single mode fibers with an enhanced Brillouin-scattering threshold and dispersion-managed fibers for submarine applications.  Prior to joining Corning, he was a Director’s Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory and an NRC Research Associate at the Naval Research Laboratory.  Scott has a B.S. in physics from Purdue University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Cornell University.  He holds over 60 patents and has over 40 publications relating to optical fiber design and performance.

Stu Elby, SVP Data Center Business Group, Infinera, USA

Dr. Stuart Elby is SVP of the Data Center Business Group at Infinera Corporation. Prior to Infinera, Dr. Elby served as VP and Chief Technologist of Verizon Labs. During his tenure at Verizon, he had significant influence in the network architecture and development of Verizon's metro and long haul networks and services platforms including VoIP/IMS, video, and cloud. Prior to joining Verizon, he served as a Research Associate at the NSF Center for Telecommunications Research at Columbia University performing R&D in all-optical networks and developing ATM/WDM platforms. He serves on the advisory boards of several university, government and industry consortia.

Donald Faw, Principle Engineer/Staff Architect, Intel Corporation

Don has an extensive background with over 37 years of experience in design and architecture in the computer industry.  He began his carrier in 1977 developing add-on memory systems for mainframe computers.  With microprocessors evolving, the mini-mainframe emerged and he focused on disk-subsystems and then moving up the memory hierarchy to developing CPU cache memory.  For the past 20 years Don has been with Intel developing 2/4/8-way server platform architecture for pedestal, rack mount, blade, and rack level systems. In his current role his responsibility involves bringing silicon photonics to systems architectures.

Dan Kilper, Administrative Director, CIAN, USA

Dr. Dan Kilper is a research professor at the College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona and the administrative director of the Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN), an NSF engineering research center. Previously he was a member of technical staff at Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent. He served as the founding technical committee chair of the GreenTouch Consortium, a global organization with over 50 members, and was the Bell Labs Liaison Executive for the Center for Energy Efficient Telecommunications at the University of Melbourne, Australia. While at Bell Labs, he received the President’s Gold Medal Award in 2004 and was a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Research. He is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and is a senior member of IEEE. Dr. Kilper has conducted research on optical performance monitoring and on transmission, architectures and control systems for transparent and energy-efficient optical networks. He holds eight patents and authored four book chapters and more than one hundred peer-reviewed publications.

Lionel Kimerling, Director of the MIT Microphotonics Center, MIT, USA

Lionel C. Kimerling is the Thomas Lord Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT and the Director of the MIT Microphotonics Center. He received his S.B. and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the MIT faculty as Professor in 1990, he was Head of Materials Physics Research at AT&T Bell Laboratories. His research teams have enabled long-lived telecommunications lasers, developed semiconductor diagnostic methods and pioneered silicon microphotonics.

Martin Schmatz, Manager Cloud Server Technologies, IBM Research-Zurich

Dr. Martin Schmatz completed his PhD at ETH Zurich/Switzerland and joined the IBM Zürich Research Laboratory in 1999. He established and managed the I/O Link Technology effort optimizing data transport in server systems. Between 2008 and 2014, Dr. Schmatz was leading the Systems Department at the IBM Zürich Research Laboratory, and he took over management responsibilities for the newly formed Cloud Server Technologies team in early 2014. Dr. Schmatz contributed to OIF and JEDEC standards, has 0+ external publications at premier conferences and refereed journals 40+ in the field and holds more than 20 patents. He is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology and has an MBA from the Henley Management College in the UK.

Jean-Marc Verdiell, CTO, Samtec Optical Group, USA

Dr. Verdiell holds a Ph.D. in Optoelectronics from the University of Paris in 1990. He has spent his career in fiber optical communications, starting in R&D in Integrated Photonics at AT&T Bell Labs, then SDL (now JDSU), then in engineering and business through several of his own startups. Lightlogic, which he founded in 1998, became a leading provider of integrated 10 Gb Ethernet optical transponders and was acquired by Intel in 2001. AlpenIO, which he founded in 2006, developed the next generation computer optical interconnect technology and was acquired by Samtec in 2011. Dr. Verdiell was named Intel Fellow in 2001. He holds 34 patents and has is author of over 75 peer reviewed papers. He is an IEEE Senior Member.
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