Prism Awards
Presented By
The 2017 - 2018 Prism Award Judges
Uri Abrams
Femtoblanc, USA
Zane Arp
FDA-Devices & Radiological Health, USA
Joel Bagwell
Edmund Optics, USA
Uri Abrams is CEO and Founder of Femtoblanc, Inc. He has served the photonics industry for over 20 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.
With a PhD in physical chemistry from Texas A&M University and 15 years of industrial experience, Zane Arp is the Director of Division of Biomedical Physics at the FDA, Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). Previously, Zane was the US Lead for Imaging Technologies at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Zane has worked at Los Alamos National Laboratories, NASA’s Johnson Space Control center at Wyle Laboratories, and GSK with a focus on developing sensor solutions for applications for space sciences, explosives, and pharmaceuticals. At GSK, he is a subject matter expert that is working with GSK’s senior management to define GSK’s strategic direction in next generation optical imaging capabilities. Most recently Zane established GSK’s Center for Optical Molecular Imaging a joint venture with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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.
Leo Baldwin
Amazon, USA
Walter Burgess
Power Technology, USA
Rosalie Clemens
RC Consulting International LLC, USA
Leo is a physicist, futurist, and inventor with a career in applied research and product development. His design work has spanned nuclear reactor cores, submarines, fire-control, aircraft landing, laser micro-machining, nano-structures, solar energy and consumer electronics. His research has spanned nuclear accidents, plastic waste recycling, beer foam, surface plasmons, adaptive optics, and femtosecond-laser-created nano-structures. His government designs are in service in 26 countries. Leo’s commercial work has resulted in 56 US patents and can be found in glass plants and silicon fabs, on iPads and iPhones, and in the Fire Phone and Fire tablets.Leo is currently Principal Engineer at Amazon where he is developing technology for Corporate Projects.
Walter Burgess, VP of Sales & Engineering at Power Technology, Inc., is a Central Arkansas native with over 18 years of experience in the laser and photonics industry. Walter’s managerial responsibilities include technical direction, product design, production commercialization, overseeing team performance, developing and managing relationships with key customers, managing the sales process from implementation through closing, and P&L responsibility. Industry accomplishments include active roles with two magazine editorial boards. Walter helped Power Technology win the 2008 Arkansas Business of the Year Award as well as the 2010 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Global Trade.
Rosalie has over 20 years' experience in R&D, product line management, and executive business leadership, including serving as interim CEO at a renewable energy company, and she has graduate degrees in engineering physics and business management. Her work has taken her around the world, from building the first commercially available thin-disk laser at Jenoptik (Jena), to developing waveguide technologies and remote sensing for a NASA program (Optical Sciences Center, Tucson), and researching periodically poled nonlinear crystals at Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm). She developed additional expertise in high-security devices for documents and brand protection at 3M and JDSU, and now serves as President of RC Consulting International.
John Dexheimer
Private Equity Investing, USA
Jason M. Eichenholz
Luminar, USA
Simi George
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 Eichenholz is a serial entrepreneur and pioneer in laser, optics and photonics product development and commercialization. Over the course of his 25-year career, his unique blend of business and technical leadership has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of new photonics products being brought to market. Eichenholz is a fellow of SPIE and OSA and is an inventor on ten U.S. patents on new types of solid-state lasers, displays and photonic devices. Eichenholz has a M.S. and Ph.D in Optical Science and Engineering from CREOL – University of Central Florida and a B.S. in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Simi George is a physicist with a background in laser plasmas, optics, optical materials design and manufacturing. Currently, she is a senior scientist and the laser materials program manager for the SCHOTT Advanced Optics division, North America. She is currently pursuing an Executive MBA from MIT Sloan. Her early career championed and advanced Sn-doped droplet laser produced plasma sources research for EUV lithography. Subsequently her career spanned EUV patterning studies of masks and resists for the semiconductor industry, research development of laser gain materials, glass manufacturing, batteries for the future, free-form optics and additive manufacturing. Simi completed her Ph.D. in physics at the CREOL, UCF, Florida.
Edward Gooding
Hindsight Imaging, USA
Bo Gu
Bos Photonics , USA
David Hardwick
Consultant, USA
Ed Gooding is Director of Sales & Marketing at Hindsight Imaging, which manufactures high-resolution, high-throughput compact spectral imagers. Ed was previously Spectroscopy Product Line Manager at Princeton Instruments. He earned an M.S. degree at the University of New Mexico, working on singlet oxygen photophysics with Peter Ogilby, and a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied ultrafast spectroscopy with Robin Hochstrasser. As a postdoctoral associate, Ed built a nanosecond temperature jump resonance Raman instrument to study protein folding dynamics in Sandy Asher’s lab at the University of Pittsburgh. Ed has published numerous articles on peptide folding dynamics using Raman, IR, CD and nonlinear laser spectroscopy.
An independent consultant advising photonics companies doing business in China and Asia, Dr. Gu has worked as corporate executive and laser experts in photonics industry for 25 years. He was the managing director of IPG Asia and general manager of IPG China, responsible for reaching 1 billion RMB fiber laser sales in less than 4 years. He has published 140 papers and 75 issued patents which are used in more than 30 commercial products of industrial lasers and systems. He is the co-founding conference chair of Photonics West 3D Laser Printing Manufacturing. He became the first foreign national elected to become a vice president of the Chinese Optical Society Laser Processing Committee in 2010, and deputy secretary-general of COS in 2017. Dr.Gu is Fellow of both SPIE and OSA.
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
Ondax, USA
Marc D. Himel
JENOPTIK Optical Systems, USA
Gloria Hoefler
Infinera, USA
Randy Heyler is President & CEO of Ondax, Inc., the leading manufacturer of high-performance Volume Holographic Grating (VHG) filters, wavelength-stabilized laser sources, and THz-Raman® Spectroscopy Systems. He brings over 30 years of leadership experience in the photonics industry, including Newport Corporation where his responsibilities included general management, technology planning, strategic and product marketing, OEM business development, branding/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, and also spent 10 years with Spectra-Physics. Randy holds both a BSME and an MS in Engineering Management from Stanford University.
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.
Gloria Hoefler has been in the optics and photonics industry for over 20 years. She did her MS and PhD in EE at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Gloria has extensive industry experience. She has worked at 3M, HP, Lumileds Lighting, Agilent Technologies, and more recently Business Development Manager at Corning. Gloria also founded and successfully funded Argos Tech, an early stage company that commercialized a novel laser engine for optical sensors. She also negotiated IP terms with Fortune 500 companies and universities to complement Argos' technology for sensor markets. Gloria is currently the Advanced Development Director at Infinera, a pioneer in design and manufacture of large scale photonic integrated circuits (PICs).
Wilhelm G. Kaenders
TOPTICA Photonics, Germany
Kenneth Kaufmann
Hamamatsu, USA
John Ling
Hitronics , China
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 worked for Hamamatsu Photonics for over 35 years. He is currently Business Development Manager at Photonics Management Corp, a subsidiary of Hamamatsu. He received a Bachelor of Science from City College of New York and a PhD from MIT in physical chemistry. Ken has been an active advisor and participant in the Prism Awards since 2008. 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”.
John Ling is Chairman & CEO of Hitronics Technologies, an optical component company in telecom, industrial lasers, and consumer markets, recently. He was previously President of II-VI Photonics, Founder and CEO of PHOTOP Technologies, Inc. with a variety of roles including R&D, marketing and sales, operation, as well as senior leadership at JDS Uniphase, CASIX, Inc. and Fujian CASTECH Crystals, Inc. John has served the photonics industry for more than 30 years with a focus on optics, components and devices for telecom, industrial lasers, life sciences and instruments. John has more than 100 Chinese and US patents. He got his BS from University of Sciences and Technologies of China and MS from Beijing Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Jian Liu
PolarOnyx, USA
Qitao Lue
Han's Laser , China
Gisele Maxwell
Shasta Crystals, USA
Jian Liu is the founder of PolarOnyx, a world’s leading R&D company in laser 3D manufacturing and its frontier applications. He has led the company to successfully develop the world’s first femtosecond laser based additive manufacturing (AM) system and subtractive manufacturing (SM) system. His past achievements include development and commercialization of several award winning high energy and high power femtosecond fiber laser products in Laser-Femto. Before starting PolarOnyx in 2002, he worked with Lucent/Bell labs in development of specialty fibers and optical amplifiers, and then joined several other Silicon Valley start-ups. He has over 40 granted patents and published over 60 papers. He has been serving/chairing several international conference committee. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
After graduated in Optics & Lasers from Huazhong University of Science & Technology (China), Dr. Lue became the scholarship holder of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. (Germany) in 1984 and continued the Diploma studies at Physics department of University Kaiserslautern (Germany). From 1988 to 1992, he’s been the assistant professor at Physics department of Technical University of Berlin (Germany) and got his Physics Ph.D in 1992. He devotes to industrial laser development and applications for more than 25 years and worked at Rofin-Sinar Laser Inc. for 6 years and at Coherent Inc. for another 3 years. He was the co-founder of Bavarian Photonics GmbH. In June 2008, Dr. Lue joined Han's Laser Technology Industry Group as Executive Vice President & CTO. The DracoTM-series lasers with more than 13000 sold units are widely used in micro-machining systems. He invents 6 international patents and publishes more than 50 technical articles.
Gisele Maxwell founded Shasta Crystals in 2006 (she is also CEO and Director) to commercially develop crystals grown by the Laser Heated Pedestal Growth technology. Since its inception, Gisele has raised over $4M in equity investment and over $1.5M in NSF grants. She serves as CEO and Dir. of Shasta Crystals. She then served as a postdoc at Stanford University in the Byer/Fejer group in the Ginzton Laboratories. Gisele worked for two companies where she successfully took nonlinear crystals to market, Crystal Technology Inc. and Silicon Light Machines. She has served as a consultant regarding Czochralski growth for Koike Corporation, Crystal Technology Inc., and Photonic Materials (Scotland). She has also consulted for New Focus Inc. and for Silicon Light Machines. Gisele is a Technical Grant Reviewer for the National Science Foundation and a Reviewer for the Journal of Crystal Growth.
Jason McClure
Block Engineering, USA
Nishant Mohan
Wasatch Photonics, USA
Sofia Moreno
Zaber Technologies, Canada
Jason McClure is Director of Engineering, Block Engineering, a company that has been a leader in mid-infrared detection instruments for over 60 years. He is currently leading the development of several novel Quantum Cascade Laser based mid-infrared chemical detection instruments. Previously, Jason was Chief Scientist at Princeton Instruments where he was a thought leader and innovator with a focus on developing new and disruptive technologies. He is credited with developing several ground-breaking imaging spectrographs which have proven transformative to many fields in optical spectroscopy. He is author of several domestic and foreign patents in optics and photonics and an active reviewer for the Optical Society of America. He has been a Prism Awards Judge since 2012 and received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Nishant Mohan is Vice President of OCT Division at Wasatch Photonics. He has actively participated in research, development and commercialization aspects of optical coherence tomography (OCT) for over a decade. Dr. Mohan also serves on standing committee for Engineering, Science and Technology Policy at SPIE. He is credited with pioneering several optical imaging technologies in both industry and academia. Prior to joining Wasatch Photonics, Dr. Mohan was part of research and development team of Bausch + Lomb Inc in Rochester NY and a research fellow at Harvard Medical School. He received his doctorate in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University and Bachelors in Electronics and Communication Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati.
Sofia Moreno is an Applications Engineer at Zaber Technologies Inc., a manufacturer of high-precision motion control devices. She has mainly focused on applications within the optics and photonics industry, and internally, she is a customer advocate, acting as a liaison between customers and designers. She has volunteered for several years with GEERing Up!, a non-profit organization that promotes science, engineering and technology to youth. She has also volunteered with Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), which helps to promote equal opportunity for women interested in careers in the technology industry. Sofia holds a BASc in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia.
Sujatha Ramanujan
Luminate, USA
Linda Smith
Ceres Technology Advisors, USA
Laura A. Smoliar
Berkeley Catalyst Fund, Founding Partner and Managing Director, USA
Sujatha Ramanujan is serial entrepreneur and seasoned executive with 25 years of experience in Clinical Devices and in Consumer Electronics. Sujatha has started, built and grown three startup businesses. Sujatha has held scientific, technical leadership, and laboratory head positions in Chrysler Corporation, GE, Kodak, Carestream, and Intrinsiq Materials. She holds 28 issued US patents. As a corporate investor for Kodak, then later working with regional investment councils she provides guidance to start-ups, and M&A strategies. Dr. Ramanujan holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and is a Board Member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Sujatha is currently Managing Director at Luminate.
Linda Smith founded Ceres Technology Advisors, a merger and acquisition firm for photonics businesses. She has more than 25 years experience identifying market opportunities, developing, managing, and financing growth for public and private companies supplying optics, lasers and biophotonics instrumentation. She held executive product management positions at venture capital funded companies commercializing integrated optics, MEMS and nanotechnology. Linda holds B.S. in Optics and Mathematics from Univ. of Rochester and M.B.A. from Babson College. She is an Accredited Sr. Appraiser in Business Valuation, Registered Investment Banker, and Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Woman.
Laura has spent nearly two decades in Silicon Valley’s technology sector. She co-founded Global Innovation Foundry, LLC in 2014 to connect innovation, market opportunity, and investors between the U.S. and Asia. Her own startup experience building strategic partnerships and raising funds from Asia inform her approach to solving complex problems across different cultures and economies, harnessing the best assets of large corporations and small companies. She has extended this into the development of a hybrid investment model (containing non-profit and for-profit components), working closely with the University of California, Berkeley, to create the Berkeley Catalyst Fund. Laura is a Columbia College graduate and a member of the Columbia Technology Ventures Executive Advisor Network. She also holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.
Ferechteh Hosseini Teherani
Nanovation, France
Aaron Weinroth
Tornado Spectral Systems, Canada
Ying Xu
Eyeque, USA
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.
Aaron Weinroth is the Chief Marketing Officer at Tornado Spectral Systems where he oversees many aspects of Tornado's technology commercialization activities including product management, marketing, business development, and the company’s intellectual property portfolio. He is also a mentor for start-up entrepreneurs at the Ontario Brain Institute and serves as an external reviewer for the Ontario Centres of Excellence innovation funding programs. Prior to his role at Tornado, Aaron served in senior business and engineering capacities developing and introducing new products in the medical device and imaging industries for both small early-stage growth organizations and the large global corporations that acquired them. Aaron earned degrees in electrical and biomedical engineering from the University of Toronto and is a licensed professional engineer.
Ying Xu is Director of Hardware Engineering at EyeQue, a company on a global mission to elevate eye care and eye health, by providing affordable, accurate and personal vision screening tests directly into consumers’ hands. Her specialties include smartphone based near-eye optical device, free-space optical communication, ultrafast laser systems, Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy, nonlinear optics. She received her Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Rochester.
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