Prism Awards
Presented By
The 2013-2014 Prism Award Judges
Uri Abrams
Joel Bagwell
Edmund Optics, USA
Michael Bove
MIT Media Lab, USA
Uri Abrams is President of PD-LD Inc., the leading manufacturer of photonic components, proprietary and patented Volume Bragg Grating® optics, wavelength stabilized diode lasers and single longitudinal mode laser systems. He has served the photonics industry for over 15 years in many leadership and senior management roles. He also most recently spearheaded the development of PD-LD’s award winning dual laser system LabSource. Prior to joining the photonics family, he held multiple leadership positions in high-volume industrial sensor manufacturing spaces, with responsibilities including general management, strategic planning, financial management, risk management and IP portfolio management. Uri holds a BSME, MSME and an MS in Operations-Financial Management from Drexel University.
Joel Bagwell is the Director of Engineering at Edmund Optics, producer of optics, imaging, and photonics technology for the global market. Joel oversees the engineering disciplines in product development, design, R&D, optical fabrication technology, optical coatings, and corporate intellectual property. A member of SPIE, he holds a M.Sc. in Manufacturing Engineering from Drexel Univ., and a B.Sc. in Optical Engineering from Univ. of Arizona, and is currently an adjunct professor in Optics and Imaging at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
V. Michael Bove, Jr. holds an S.B.E.E., an S.M. in Visual Studies, and a Ph.D. in Media Technology, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is currently head of the Object-Based Media Group at the Media Laboratory. He is the author or co-author of over 90 journal or conference papers on digital television systems, video processing hardware/software design, multimedia, scene modeling, visual display technologies, and optics. He holds patents on inventions relating to video recording, hardcopy, interactive television, and medical imaging, is co-author with the late Stephen A. Benton of the book Holographic Imaging (Wiley, 2008), and served as general chair of the 2006 IEEE Consumer Communications and Networking Conference (CCNC'06) and co-chair of the 2012 International Symposium on Display Holography. Bove is a fellow of the SPIE.
John Dexheimer
Private Equity Investing, USA
Jason M. Eichenholz
Open Photonics, USA
Mickey Frish
Physical Sciences Inc., USA
John Dexheimer focuses on optical and sensing systems and applications, enterprise software-services, and alternative energy solutions. John has advised or led investments in more than 100 completed company financings and mergers in communications, software, electronics, materials, and optics. Companies include: Philips, SAIC-Telcordia, JDS Uniphase, Novell, EMC, EDS, United Technologies, Cisco, KLA, Intel, Raytheon, and Schott. Since 1999 he has helped materials and optics firms receive over $800 million of equity investments. He has an MBA from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota, Institute of Technology.
Jason is CEO and Founder of Open Photonics. He is an Experienced Technology Development Executive, Technology Scout and Open Innovation Practitioner. He started OPI because he saw a chasm between garage inventors and academic researchers who wanted to see their work commercialized and companies looking for new ideas. Prior to starting OPI, he served as the Divisional Technology Director at Halma PLC responsible for supporting open innovation and technology and strategy development for the Photonics Division as well as other divisions and companies inside Halma. Prior to Halma, Jason was CTO for Ocean Optics and Dir. of Strategic Marketing for Newport and Spectra-Physics. Jason has been actively involved in laser and photonics research and product development for more than 20 years.
Mickey Frish currently serves as Manager, Industrial Sensors at Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) within the Photonics Enterprise. He has served as VP of Product Development at Spectrum Diagnostix (SDx) and its successor companies, and CTO at Confluent Photonics. Mickey has a broad, interdisciplinary background with specific strengths in research, development, commercialization and marketing of photonics instrumentation. He has led the creation of several industrial gas and process analyzer, sensor, and control products that employ tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy (TDLAS) to continuously measure and control trace amounts of hazardous, polluting or contaminating gases, including the R&D 100 Award winning Remote Methane Leak Detector (RMLD). Dr. Frish has been awarded nine patents, and is the author or co-author of over 70 technical reports and publications.
Joseph Gortych
David Hardwick
Consultant, USA
Randy Heyler
Ondax Inc., USA
Joseph E. Gortych is President of Opticus IP Law PLLC, a intellectual property (IP) law firm based in Sarasota, Florida and specializing in optics, photonics and semiconductor technologies. He received his B.S. in physics from Rutgers University, his M.S. in optics from the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics, and his J.D. from Vermont Law School. Mr. Gortych is a registered Patent Attorney and is an active member of SPIE as the OSA. Mr. Gortych writes, lectures and provides legal counsel on IP matters relating to high-tech business in the U.S. and abroad.
After earning his physics degree from St. Johns Univ. (Minnesota), David started research on early laser technology at Honeywell Research Center. In the past 50 years his career spanned from Development Engineer, Manufacturing Manager, Marketing Product Manager and leader/CEO of several startup laser and fiber optics companies. His resume includes: Spectra Physics, Coherent, Lasertron, and CEO of Melles Griot. He also assisted in founding: Auxora Photonics, Confluent Photonics, IPG Photonics and Altitun. He is semi-retired photonics industry consultant to IMRA America and TEEM Photonics, active OSA member, living in New England.
Randy Heyler is President and CEO of Ondax, Inc., the leading manufacturer of high-performance Volume Holographic Grating (VHG) filters and wavelength-stabilized laser sources. He has nearly 30 years of leadership experience in the photonics industry, most recently with Newport Corporation, where his responsibilities included general management, technology planning, strategic and product marketing, OEM business development, branding and product positioning, and industry trade and technical association leadership. He was a founder and VP of the Photonics Packaging and Advanced Automation Division at Newport. He also spent 10 years with Spectra-Physics. Randy holds both a BSME and an MS in Engineering Management from Stanford University.
Marc D. Himel
JENOPTIK Optical Systems, USA
Wilhelm G. Kaenders
TOPTICA Photonics, Germany
Kenneth Kaufmann
Hamamatsu, USA
Marc D Himel, a Business Development Manager with Jenoptik Optical Systems, brings 25 years of photonics experience to advancing the application of micro-optics to solve complex system’s issues in semiconductor manufacturing, material processing, and other commercial applications. Prior to joining Jenoptik, he worked in the design and development of advanced EUV and DUV lithography systems at AT&T Bell Labs and SVG Lithography Systems, and as a Product Manager at DigitalOptics Corporation. He received his BS degree in Physics from the California Polytechnic State University, his PhD in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona, and an MBA from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Himel has more than 46 published papers and one patent.
Wilhelm Kaenders is founder and President/CEO of TOPTICA Photonics AG, a high-tech optical company that focuses on high-precision lasers and laser systems as test and measurement tools in industry and academia. He worked on tunable diode laser technology in collaboration with the LM University/Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics groups of Theodor Hänsch. Since 2003, the commercial activities have been extended to fiber-based femtosecond lasers for spectroscopy, metrology, inspection and microscopy. Kaenders received his diploma in Physics on research in atom physics using synchrotron and VUV pulsed laser radiation at Bonn University and the International Diploma of Imperial College, London, before finalizing the doctorate at the University of Hannover.
Kenneth Kaufmann has been with Hamamatsu Corp. for 24 years and is currently Vice President of Marketing. He received a Bachelor of Science from City College of New York and a PhD from MIT in physical chemistry. Ken, as VP of Marketing for Hamamatsu, has been an active participant in the Prism Awards since 2008, as an applicant, award winner, presenter, and a judge. Hamamatsu is a global leader in photoelectron conversion technologies. The company’s opto-semiconductor products are used in a wide range of sectors, including the automotive industry. Hamamatsu says its quality policy is to “take responsibility as an opto-semiconductor manufacturer to establish a quality control system that provides products the customers needs and contribute to the progress of industry and science”.
Michael Lebby
Translucent Inc., USA
Robert Lieberman
Intelligent Optical Systems Inc., USA
Jian Liu
PolarOnyx, USA
Michael Lebby's career has spanned all aspects of the optoelectronics business ranging from R&D, operations, manufacturing, and finance, to sales, marketing, and investing. He has 2 doctorates and a MBA from the Univ of Bradford, UK. Positions include RSRE for the British Government, AT&T Bell Labs, Motorola, Tyco Electronics, Intel, Ignis Optics (now Oclaro), OIDA, Translucent, and since 2013, the CEO and President of OneChip Photonics which focuses on the manufacture of OEICs and PICs for 100G+ fiber communications. Lebby led the drive for green photonics which has become a significant focus for the photonics industry. With over 385 patents issued (of which >195 USPTO utility root patents issued), he was cited to be in the most prolific 75 inventors in the country by the USPTO.
Robert Lieberman received his PhD in Physics from the University of Michigan with an emphasis on solid-state physics and biophysics. After working at AT&T Bell Laboratories for 10 years, Dr. Lieberman joined Physical Optics Corporation (POC), where he became VP and GM of Research and Development. In 1998, he founded Intelligent Optical Systems (IOS), and since then he has been a co-founder or senior executive of 5 other companies. He served as the Principal Investigator on optical sensor projects with NIH, NSF, NASA, and the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense. Dr. Lieberman holds 33 U.S. patents, is the author of numerous scientific articles, and has chaired numerous symposia on biological, physical, and chemical sensors.
Jian Liu is the founder of PolarOnyx, a world’s leading R&D company in high energy ultrafast fiber laser and its frontier applications. He has led the company to successfully develop several award winning high energy and high power femtosecond fiber laser products (currently sold by the spun off company, PolarOnyx Laser). Before starting PolarOnyx in 2002, he worked with Lucent/Bell labs on optical amplifiers and then joined several other Silicon Valley start-ups. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
Jason McClure
Princeton Instruments, USA
Paul McManamon
Consultant, Exciting Technology, USA
Marc Nantel
Research & Innovation, Niagara College, Canada
Jason McClure is the Chief Scientist at Princeton Instruments, a producer of high performance CCD, ICCD, and EMCCD cameras; imaging spectrographs; and optics-based solutions for the scientific research, industrial imaging, and OEM communities. Jason joined Princeton Instruments in 2008 where he acts as a thought leader and innovator with a focus on developing new and disruptive technologies while leading engineering teams to bring new ideas to fruition. He is author of several domestic and foreign patents in optics and photonics. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Nevada Las Vegas with an emphasis on high pressure condensed matter physics.
Paul McManamon was chief scientist for the Sensors Directorate, Air Force Research Lab, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio until 2008. His expertise includes sensing, processing, and directed energy technologies. He is chair of the NAS “ Active EO sensing study, and was recently co-chair of the “Optics and Photonics” study. He is a Fellow of SPIE , OSA, IEEE, DEPs, MSS, and AFRL, and an IEEE WRG Baker award recipient. Dr. McManamon was instrumental in the development of laser flash imaging and his DARPA efforts include STAB, APPLE, Medusa, and SALTI. Currently an independent consultant and part time Technical Director of LOCI at the Univ. of Dayton.
Marc Nantel is the Associate VP of Research & Innovation at Niagara College. Previously, Marc was the Director of Research, Commercialization and Talent Programs at the OCE, in the areas of nanotechnology and advanced health technologies. After obtaining his PhD in x-ray laser spectroscopy (Université du Québec), Dr. Nantel spent 4 postdoc years in France and at the University of Michigan, pursuing ever shorter laser-produced visible and x-ray pulses and their applications. Marc was an Adjunct Professor of Physics at the University of Toronto from 1998 to 2008. Since 2000, he has worked with Ontario colleges and universities to establish new programs in photonics.
Jim Pearson
CREOL, Special Consultant, USA
Ralf Reiter
SCHOTT AG, Germany
Ryszard S. Romaniuk
Warsaw Univ of Technology, Poland
James Pearson received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. His career began at the Los Alamos Lab., followed by 17 years with United Technology Corp. including President of UT Optical Systems before going on to serve as the executive director of SPIE and then the ISA. In 2004 Jim became Director of Research and Administration at the Univ. of Central Florida, CREOL, where he is currently a consultant. He also holds the position of executive director of the Florida Photonics Cluster. Jim has served on multiple academic and professional society advisory committees and on the board of directors for SPIE and for the American Association of Engineering Societies. Jim holds 3 patents and has published several books and over 2 dozen papers.
Ralf Reiter has been employed with SCHOTT AG since 1983, giving him over 30 years of experience in the Optics and Photonics and Glass industry. During his tenure, he was one of the driving forces behind the production of the 8 meter ZERODUR® mirror blanks for the VLT and ESO. For the past 6 years, he has worked for the Advanced Optics Business Unit and is currently responsible for directing the worldwide development and applications for the global production process and innovation. During this time, he has had the honor to receive the ‘Best Innovator’ award 2012/2013 from the German Ministry for Research and Technology. Ralf studied material sciences at Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany and has authored and co-authored over 20 technical papers and patents.
Ryszard S.Romaniuk is a Professor of Electronics Engineering at Warsaw University of Technology (WUT) in Poland. He is research director of the Institute of Electronic Systems at WUT; a fellow of SPIE; an Eisenhower fellow; a member of board in Photonics Society of Poland; a member of IEEE, OSA and EOS; and a member of the editorial boards of professional journals, including Photonics Spectra. He also is scientific secretary of the Committee of Electronics and Telecommunications, Polish Academy of Sciences. He has authored several manuals on optoelectronics, 300 papers on optical fiber technology and photonic/electronic systems for high-energy physics experiments. He is a member of the development team for the European X-FEL.
Linda Smith
Ceres Technologies, USA
Laura A. Smoliar
Consultant & Entrepreneur, USA
Lynn Strickland
IDEX Optics & Photonics, USA
Linda Smith is President of Ceres Technology Advisors, an investment banking firm focusing on photonics technology enabled businesses. She has more than 20 years’ experience identifying market opportunities, developing, managing, and financing growth for public and private companies (optical components, lasers, analytical instrumentation, medical devices, end-users in pharmaceuticals and semiconductors). She held executive product marketing positions at venture capital funded companies commercializing integrated optics and MEMS technologies. Linda holds BS in Optics and Mathematics from Univ. of Rochester, MBA from Babson College, plus an Accredited Sr. Appraiser in Business Valuation and Series 79 Registered Investment Banker.
Laura Smoliar is a consultant and serial entrepreneur in the optics and photonics industry. Previously, she was CEO of Peppertree Engineering, Inc., which specializes in technology development and product engineering in the field of optical solutions, including laser and LED-based equipment. She has commercialized products in data storage, semiconductor/MEMS, display, and solid-state lasers. After earning a Ph.D. from Univ. of California at Berkeley and an A.B., Summa Cum Laude, from Columbia Univ., she worked in Taiwan. She has developed technology with international partners, including Sony, NTT, and Hitachi. An adviser to venture capital & private equity firms, Laura writes a weekly column for magazine.
Lynn Strickland is the Vice President and General Manager of the Global Catalog business for IDEX Optics and Photonics, including CVI, Melles Griot, Advanced Thin Films, Precision Photonics and Semrock brands. With 29 years in the Photonics industry, his prior roles include Product Development, Technical Marketing, Sales, Product Management and Business Development, with a particular emphasis on commercialization of product technologies including lasers, optical components and electro-optical systems. Applications served include bio-instrumentation, medical, defense, semiconductor, scientific instrumentation and research. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering.
Ferechteh Hosseini Teherani
Nanovation, France
Alastair Wilson
Photonics of ESP KTN, UK
Ferechteh H. Teherani has been involved with the development of novel oxide thin film materials and devices for over 25 years. After receiving her PhD from the University of Orsay (France), Dr Teherani was a researcher at Thales & SUPELEC (France), NTT &ETL (Japan), and Northwestern Univ. (USA) before becoming technical director of a start-up based in Paris in the late 1990s. Currently CEO of Nanovation, which she founded in 2001 to commercialize oxide based solutions mainly for the semiconductor industry. An expert for the European Commission, she has also been an Esbach Scholar supervising PhD/masters students at Northwestern Univ. and is currently a conference chair of the Oxide-based Materials and Devices conference at SPIE Photonics West.
Alastair Wilson has been involved in photonics for over 35 years. He received his B.Sc and M.Sc from Queen’s Univ., Belfast, after which he worked for Barr and Stroud Ltd, later Thales Optronics, as a laser physicist. Since 2010 he has been the Director of Photonics of ESP KTN, which actively promotes the exchange of knowledge and the stimulation of innovation in UK photonics. He helped lead a £31M 5-year cluster strategy for Scottish photonics. Head of Optoelectronics for the Scottish Enterprise, and a founder of Compound Semiconductor Technologies Ltd., he was key player in setting up the Institute of Photonics at the Univ. of Strathclyde.
The Prism Awards are Presented By