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Career Accelerator

22 January 2023 – 26 January 2023 Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo, Polk County, Florida United States

Career Accelerators seek to fill the training and education gap by focusing on career paths and the professional and personal skills needed for success. Our goal with this program is to acquaint students with the corporate world's culture, language, and methodology as they plan their transition from academia to industry.   
Topics include:

  • Leadership Development
  • Team Building and Group Dynamics
  • Business Strategy
  • Innovation & Product Development
  • Budgeting and Financial Management
  • Management and Decision Making
  • Marketing and Branding
  • Effective Communication
  • Negotiating
  • Project Management

Quick Links



We have an engaging and informative program featuring thought leaders in optics and photonics. The Career Accelerator begins at 20:00 EST on Sunday 22 January 2023 and concludes at 12:00 EST on 26 January 2023.  To learn more about the topics and speakers featured each day, please click on the tabs below.

Sunday, 22 January

14:00 Bus #1
Orlando International Airport (MCO) en route to Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo

17:00 Bus #2
Orlando International Airport (MCO) en route to Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo

20:00-20:15 Welcome Remarks, Longhorn Center
Speaker: Chad Stark, Executive Director, Optica Foundation

20:15-21:00  Icebreaker

21:00-22:00 Reception, Longhorn Center

Tuesday, 23 January   

08:00-08:45 Breakfast, Longhorn Center

08:45-09:00 Introduction of the Day, Grand Hall

09:00-10:30 Kickoff: Sustainable Networking for Scientists and Engineers
Speaker: Christina Willis, Senior Analyst, Infleqtion

Sustainability applied to networking is about treating professional support and assistance like a resource and creating more of it than you take. This workshop introduces how to use sustainable networking to create mutually beneficial professional relationships and to set and accomplish career goals. Through individual and group activities, participants will come away with personalized goals and a practical action plan for how to incorporate sustainable networking into their professional lives.

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-11:45 Leadership Styles and Teams in the Corporate Environment
Speaker: Sam Rubin, CEO, LightPath Technologies

11:45-12:45 Project Management for Engineering, R&D, Technology Teams
Speaker: Kenneth Barber, Director, Project Management, Edmund Optics

Discover what it really means to be a Project Manager for Engineering, R&D and Technology Teams. Learn how to apply fundamental project management tools to any project in a practical way. Understand how you can leverage your technical know-how into a career in project management and beyond. Learn about key concepts like the triple constraints with fun examples.

12:45-14:00 Lunch, Longhorn Center

14:00-15:00 Corporate Strategy

Speaker: Loudon Blair, Corporate Strategy Officer, Ciena

What is corporate strategy and why is it important? In this session we will discuss the value of corporate strategy and explore many of the functions and best practices that encourage successful business.

15:00-16:00 The Role of Marketing and Sales

Speaker: Anjul Loiacono, Vice President, Quantum Signal Processing, Infleqtion

Marketing plays a critical role in the success of businesses. In high-tech industries, such as ours, marketing varies widely across companies and often roles in marketing are opaque to job seekers. In this session I hope to demystify what is marketing, how it relates to sales and R&D, and how the role of marketing fits within high-tech companies’ objectives. Upon the conclusion of this session, I hope you will have a better understanding of the marketing function in the high-tech industry, which will subsequently help you determine your future career direction.

16:00-18:00 The Amazing Race

Group activity: Team building scavenger hunt

18:00-19:00 Dinner, Longhorn Center

19:00-20:00 From Physicist to CEO

Speaker: Gregory Quarles, CEO, Applied Energetics Inc.

The goal of my presentation will be to give you a glimpse of my 30 plus years in industrial positions and some of the skills and opportunities that are needed for success in pursuing your dreams. These topics will include willingness and skill at pivoting in your research, coping with hearing no, learning how to say no, the necessity of setting boundaries, developing the ability to hone soft skills such as your elevator pitch, and expanding your education to learn critical areas, including finance and marketing. It has been a wonderful and exciting journey for me, and I look forward to sharing how you too can become a leader in industry with your optics and photonics degrees. 

20:00-20:30 Daily Wrap Up

Tuesday, 24 January

08:00-08:45 Breakfast, Longhorn Center

08:45-09:00 Introduction of the Day, Grand Hall

09:00-10:00 Identifying Emerging Technology Trends

Speaker: Peter Wigley, Technology Strategy Manager, Corning Optical Communications

Identifying emerging technology trends and successfully mapping those trends into research, development and product plans is a complex process, but critical to the ongoing success of a technology company. This is especially true for a company with diverse markets and established keystone technologies. This talk introduces some useful tips on where to look, how to evaluate trends, and how to persuade others within an organization to act, while avoiding some common pitfalls.

10:00-11:00 The Role of a Product Line Manager

Speaker: Keeley Hurley, Product Line Manager, Coherent

The product manager finds themself seated at the heart of where business strategy, cutting edge technology, and customer needs overlap. Through a perpetual cycle of listening, learning, and communicating, the product manager unites customer requirements and production capabilities in the present while helping to define and shape the roadmap for future innovations.

11:00-11:30 Break

11:30-12:30 The Language of Business: Managerial Reporting and Accounting for Decision Making (Part 1)

Speaker: George Bayz, Vice President and General Manager, Synopsys (retired)

The art of accounting. We will discuss budgeting, explore the art of accounting, visit the stock market and dive into why this is something all scientists in industry should understand.  

12:30-14:00 Lunch, Longhorn Center

14:00-15:00 The Language of Business: Managerial Reporting and Accounting for Decision Making (Part 2)

Speaker: George Bayz, Vice President and General Manager, Synopsys (retired)

More fun with accounting.

15:00-15:30 Break

15:30-16:45 Patents and Intellectual Property 101

Speaker: Thomas A. Franklin, Shareholder, Co-Chair Electrical & Computer Technologies Practice Group, Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C.

Technology companies and institutions at all stages face a variety of intellectual property issues.  Addressing these issues well can significantly increase value for the intellectual property owner, while missteps can have the opposite result.  We will introduce important forms of intellectual property, including patents, trade secrets, and trademarks, and discuss the role each plays in an intellectual property portfolio.

16:45-17:00 Daily Wrap-Up

17:00-18:00 Break

18:00-19:00 Dinner, Longhorn Center

19:00-20:00 Putting Theory into Practice: The Financial Scavenger Hunt

After learning about all things around financials, now you get to put your skills to the test. Small groups will review a public company’s financial statement and report out about your organization. Can you find everything in time?

Wednesday, 25 January   

08:00-08:45 Breakfast, Longhorn Center

08:45-9:00 Introduction of the Day, Grand Hall

09:00-10:00 Negotiation Skills
Speaker: Eve Griliches, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Cisco

The How, When and Why of Negotiation. You’ll learn what to negotiate when you get a job offer, how to negotiate when in a job, and knowing when to leave a job.

10:00-11:00 From Resume Review to Final Offer: Inside HR and the Hiring Process
Speaker: Alejandro Mendoza, Director of Human Resources, Optimax

The hiring process – from submitting your resume to the offer – including tips on the do's and don’ts during an interview. I will also explore the importance of your role exploring Job Quality topics during the interview process and how HR utilizes this in driving corporate culture as a business partner.

11:00-11:30 Break

11:30- 12:30 Innovation and Product Development

Speakers: Matthew Weed, Senior Director of Product Management, Luminar

Understanding "value proposition" may seem simple but continual focus on this empathetic idea is essential to successful research and products alike. From fundamental research through customer deployment, join in this exploration of how to identify pain points, enablers, and disruptors as well as how to position each to generate market pull.

12:30-14:00 Lunch, Longhorn Center

14:00-15:00 The Role of an Optical Scientist/Engineer

Speakers: Clara Rivero-Baleine, Lockheed Martin Fellow, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Projects and business contributions of an optical engineer. I will focus on how to find an optical engineer job, your career path, working in a team, and the potential for growth. I will also share my key takeaways of working as an engineer at Lockheed Martin.

15:00-15:30 Break

15:30-16:30 Wish I'd Known that Sooner

Speaker: A. Boh Ruffin, Senior Research Manager, Corning Incorporated

Hindsight is a gift that is usually presented after failure and/or calamity.  As a consequence of its usual embarrassing circumstances, this gift is selfishly hoarded. This presentation offers a candidate overview of hard-earned intuitions gleaned by the author and his (anonymous) colleagues.  The desired outcome is to impart non-obvious insights to an audience of students and upstarts interested in increasing their capacity for risk-taking.

16:45-17:00 Daily Wrap-Up

17:00-18:00 Break

18:00-19:00 Dinner, Saddleback Pavilion

19:00-20:20 S'mores with Luminar CTO, East Corral

Speaker: Jason Eichenholz, Chief Technology Officer, Luminar

Thursday, 26 January   

08:00-08:45 Breakfast, Longhorn Center

08:45-09:00 Introduction of the Day, Grand Hall

09:00-10:00 State of the Optics and Photonics Market

Speaker: Jose Pozo, Chief Technology Officer, Optica

Jose Pozo, CTO of Optica, will share his vision for the need for a global photonics industry network. In addition, Pozo will provide a vision of what he expects in the next decade in 3D imaging and sensing, laser-based manufacturing, integrated photonics, medical devices, and quantum technologies; alongside with examples of current photonics trends.

10:00-10:30 Break  (Checkout of rooms if needed)

10:30-11:30 Leveraging the Key Learnings to Enhance your Career

Speaker: Alison French, Managing Director, Alto Solutions, LLC, USA

11:30 Adjournment and Lunch, Longhorn Center

12:00 Bus #1
Departing: Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo en route to Orlando International Airport (MCO)

14:00 Bus #2
Departing: Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo en route to Orlando International Airport (MCO)



A. Boh Ruffin

Senior Research Manager, Corning Incorporated

Dr. A. Boh Ruffin joined Corning’s Science and Technology Division in 2001 after earning a PhD in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan. His graduate research in ultrafast lasers, nonlinear-optics, and electro-optics provided him with the fundamental skills and insights pursue telecommunication and access networks research within Corning S&T’s Optical Systems and Networks Research department. During the early phase of his Corning career, he established the access networks research test bed for the Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) program and co-invented various optical fibers with nonlinear thresholds optimized for supercontinuum generation, kilowatt lasers, or analog and coherent modulation formats. As a Corning scientist Dr. Ruffin developed an appreciation for RDE&M techno-economics and learned to leverage market trends to develop novel applications aligned with Corning’s core capabilities. His interests in commercial technologies also grew from his flair for demonstrating the value proposition next-gen products, such as SMF-28e® and ClearCurve® bendable fiber. Due to his technical depth and panache for customer engagements, he was “recruited” by Corning’s Gorilla® Glass sales organization in 2009. As an applications engineer, Dr. Ruffin helped grow the Gorilla Glass brand by teaching customers and system architects how to leverage Corning’s advanced materials and processes for consumer electronics applications. He continued to grow business acumen as a technology strategist for Corning Glass Technologies, where he assessed threats and opportunities for next-gen technologies for display markets. In 2017 he was recruited by Corning’s Manufacturing Technology and Engineering (MT&E) division to lead early-stages programs, applications, and technology transfers for laser processes. Finally, in 2021, Dr. Ruffin returned to Corning’s S&T to lead a world-class research group devoted to high-intensity light-matter interactions and laser applications that are aligned with Corning’s current and future business needs. • Dr. Ruffin holds bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan. He has co-authored 67 proprietary technical reports and 29 peer reviewed publications. He has filed over 36 invention disclosures, 20 patent applications, and 15 granted patents. Dr. Ruffin is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Additionally, he is active in his community, where he serves or has served as a board member for various non-profits, such as the Corning Children Center, Taipei American School, Science and Discovery Center, and the Corning-Painted Post School district. He is the recipient of various awards and was most recently presented the 2021 MT&E Idea Award and the 2021 CCG Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award. Most notably, Dr. Ruffin’s greatest accomplishments are shared with his wife, Dr. Millicent Ruffin, as evinced by the resolve and well-being of their three sons.

Alejandro Mendoza

Director of Human Resources, Optimax

Alejandro (Ale’) Mendoza is the Director of Human Resources at Optimax Systems Inc, a precision optics manufacturer, located in Ontario, New York. In this role, he is part of the Board of Directors at Optimax and focuses on aligning the company’s strategic goals and culture with a growing workforce. Before joining Optimax in 2006, Ale’ was a member of the United States Air Force, where he served in a variety of specialized roles. His military career included assignments with Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Space Surveillance, and Aircrew Life Support systems and training. In addition to his current role at Optimax, Ale’ has a passion for collaborating and building relationships with workforce development organizations. Ale’ serves the local community as a member of the Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise (FAME), the Finger Lakes Community College foundation board and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce HR Executive forum while regionally, he’s a member of the NY state workforce strategy group – Invest in skills NY coalition and nationally, he serves as a board member of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and partners with the National Skills Coalition and Business Leaders United, including a member of their Manufacturing Industry Recovery Panel. He holds an associate degree from Monroe Community College (MCC), a bachelor’s degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and a master’s degree from St. John Fisher College.

Anjul Loiacono

Vice President Quantum Signal Processing, Infleqtion

Dr. Anjul Loiacono is the VP of Quantum Signal Processing at Infleqtion. She brings a deep bench of experience in both the management and marketing of complex optics and photonics systems. During her 12-year tenure at Thorlabs, a designer and manufacturer of photonics equipment for research, manufacturing, and biomedical applications, Anjul oversaw the development and release of their flagship Optical Coherence Tomography product line, developed corporate strategies, managed strategic partnerships, and completed several acquisitions worldwide. Anjul received her Ph.D. from Duke University and also serves on the Optica Corporate Engagement Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting knowledge in optics and photonics worldwide.

Christina Willis

Senior Analyst, Infleqtion

Christina C. C. Willis is a laser scientist, author, and public speaker with a passion for public policy. She served a year in the United States Senate as the 2019-2020 OSA / SPIE Arthur H. Guenther Congressional fellow and currently works as a Senior Analyst at the Boulder-based quantum technology company Infleqtion. In her free time she teaches yoga and volunteers as a firefighter. You can download her book Sustainable Networking for Scientists and Engineers for free from SPIE Press ( and you can find her on Twitter @willischristina.

Clara Rivero-Baleine

Lockheed Martin Fellow, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Dr. Clara Rivero Baleine is a Lockheed Martin Associate Fellow and a Materials Engineering Manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (LMMFC) in Orlando, Florida. She has been working in the Applied Research R&D Sensors Systems and Technologies group since joining Lockheed Martin Corporation in 2005. Her research work is focused on advanced material development for optical and photonic applications. Clara received her Ph.D. in Optics in 2005 from CREOL, the College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida. During this time, she had the opportunity to complete a cotutelle (joint Ph.D.) with the University of Bordeaux in France. She simultaneously received a Ph.D. in Materials Science (Spécialité Physico Chimie de la Matière Condensée) from the Institut de Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Bordeaux (ICMCB), University of Bordeaux 1. Clara is the recipient of the 2007 & 2016 Individual Excellence Award (LMMFC), 2009 National Women of Color Technology Star, 2009 & 2012 Lockheed Martin Innovate the Future Contest team finalist, 2015 Outstanding AlumKnights Award and 2019 CREOL Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Central Florida, College of Sciences – Physics, 2016 Missiles and Fire Control Technical Innovation Award, and 2016 Lockheed Martin Corporation NOVA Award for Technical Innovation. She is a senior member of Optica (formerly OSA). Dr. Rivero-Baleine has 18 granted patents and others pending.

Eve Griliches

Senior Product Marketing, Cisco

Eve Griliches is the Product Marketing lead for the Optical BU. Previously, Eve was Director of Solutions Marketing at BTI Systems and Managing Partner of the global research firm ACG Research where she was VP of Optical Networking. Before ACG, Eve served as IDC Program Director for Telecommunications Equipment, where she provided in-depth analysis on key telecom market technologies. Additionally, Eve has more than 10 years of product line management experience at equipment vendors including Marconi (Ericsson), PhotonEx, Nortel Networks, Bay Networks and Wellfleet Communications. She also spent four years at Thinking Machines Corporation, one of the first parallel processing supercomputer companies.

George Bayz

Vice President & General Manager, Synopsys (retired)

George Bayz joined Synopsys as the Vice President and General Manager of the Optical Solutions Group with the Synopsys’ acquisition of Optical Research Associates (ORA) in October 2010. Bayz has over 25 years of senior management experience with high-technology firms. Prior to Synopsys, Bayz was President and CEO of ORA, served on the ORA Board of Directors and chaired the ORA Audit Committee, which provided oversight of the reporting practices of the company and the quality and integrity of the company's financial statements. Prior to ORA, he was President and CEO of PeoplePoint Systems, Inc., an enterprise software company; General Manager and Executive Vice President at Artemis International Solutions Corp., a provider of advanced project management solutions; President and CEO of Thinque Systems, a workforce automation solutions provider; and President and CEO of MAI Systems Corporation, a provider of information technology to the hospitality industry. Bayz received a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and a J.D. from Loyola Marymount University. He is a Member of the California Bar and is a California Certified Public Accountant.

Gregory Quarles

CEO, Applied Energetics Inc.

Dr. Gregory Quarles was hired in May 2019 as the CEO and Board member for Tucson-based Applied Energetics, Inc, a recognized leading company developing ultrashort-pulse lasers, frequency agile optical sources, and laser guided energy technologies. He was subsequently named President and CEO in 2020. Greg had previously served on the AE Scientific Advisory Board. Prior to joining Applied Energetics, Dr. Quarles served as the Chief Scientific Officer for Optica (formerly the Optical Society of America) since November of 2015. He is an experienced Chief Executive Officer, Board Member and renowned physicist with 25 years of experience driving cutting-edge laser, optics, nanopowder, directed energy devices, and photonics technology development and operations within advanced industrial companies. Greg is a globally recognized leader for his strategic partnerships with the Department of Defense, the U.S. Congress, and his innovative work developing new laser devices for medical, national security, and industrial applications. He has also spent the past fifteen years interacting with global leaders in the optics, photonics, and academic communities discussing policy opportunities. Greg has been awarded five patents related to his research in solid-state lasers, has twelve pending, and has published over 130 peer-reviewed and conference publications. Dr. Quarles has been a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Sensors and Instrumentation Technical Advisory Committee (SITAC) since 2015. Earlier in his career, Greg was a founder, COO and Managing Partner of EdgeLight Incorporated, a start-up enterprise pioneering wearable light therapy in Tucson, AZ. He has also managed his own consulting firm since 2013, as President and CEO of Opto-Electronics Management Network. Prior to starting this consulting business, Greg served as the CEO at B.E. Meyers & Co., Inc., and was Director of Corporate Research, Development and Technology for II-VI Incorporated, from 2002 -2010. His previous experience includes serving on eight Corporate and not-for-profit Boards, including the Optica Board of Directors, working at II-VI Incorporated for 18 years, and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory for 5 years. Dr. Quarles is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and holds a Ph.D. and MS in Physics, and a dual BS in Math and Physics. He has served as Assistant Editor for both Optical Engineering and the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics and is a Fellow of both the Optica and SPIE and a Senior Member of IEEE.

Jose Pozo

Chief Technology Officer, Optica

Based in the Netherlands, Jose Pozo is the architect of Optica's strategy to serve corporations around the globe. His education and European-focused professional experience place him in an excellent position to connect with and support Photonics21, and his current global portfolio of corporate programs is a valuable asset. In his role as Optica's Chief Technology Officer, Pozo leads the organization's international corporate engagement efforts. He and his team focus on building relationships across the diverse community of optics and photonics companies around the globe. They successfully give a voice to innovators and encourage mutually beneficial industry connections. Jose works directly with CEOs to assist them with expanding their trusted network of contacts and collaborators, and partners. Prior to joining Optica, Pozo was the Director of Technology and Innovation with the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC). Originally from Spain, Pozo spent more than 25 years working in photonics in several European countries, including Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. He earned a Ph.D. in quantum physics from the University of Bristol, UK, and an M.Sc. and B.Eng. in telecom engineering from UPNA, Spain / VUB, Belgium. Prior to joining EPIC in 2015 as CTO, he was a Senior Photonics Technology Consultant with PNO Consultants; his clients included: CERN, Thales, and TE Connectivity. Jose also worked with The Netherlands Organization (TNO) for Applied Scientific Research and as a post-doctoral researcher at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Keeley Hurley

Product Line Manager, Coherent

Keeley earned her BSc from the University of Arizona. She started her career at OptoPower/Spectra-Physics doing product development of fiber coupled and stacked laser diode arrays for medical, industrial and defense applications. She then joined DILAS Diode Laser, Inc. as one of its two founding members in 2005 as product manager. She continued her career with DILAS taking on rolls in both quality and operations management. After DILAS was acquired by Coherent, she returned to her role as Product Line Manager for high power diode laser component products for defense applications and has also led multiple production ramping efforts to support the expanding needs of the defense industry.

Kenneth Barber

Sr. Director of Engineering & Project Management, Edmund Optics

Kenneth has over 23 years of experience in the photonics industry specializing in Project Management and Product Development. During his career he founded and help develop Edmund Optics’ Project Management department and New Product Introduction process. As Director of Engineering and Project Management, he leads a global team of Designers and Project Managers in the US, China and Germany in the development of new product. Kenneth holds a graduate certification in Project Management from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and received his BS in Optics from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. • Founder and Co-chair of Edmund Optics’ US Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee • Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Published Articles contributed to: • Optics that focus on manufacturing • Hemispherical Display Uses Single Lens and Digital Projector

Loudon Blair

Corporate Strategy Office, Ciena

Dr. Loudon Blair is Senior Director of Corporate Strategy at Ciena. Since joining the company in 1997, he has performed several roles in the development of Ciena’s networking products including the formation of Ciena’s vision for new and evolving network architectures. Today, he is responsible for strategic planning and assessment of industry and technology trends. Prior to joining Ciena, Dr. Blair worked for Gorca Systems Ltd., where he managed a system engineering team within the Iridium low earth orbit satellite system at Motorola Satellite Communications. Dr. Blair also worked for BT Laboratories in the UK, where he focused on the development of novel network architectures, and at Hitachi Central Research Laboratory in Japan, where he investigated the role of Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifiers in 10G WDM transmission systems. Dr. Blair received a B.Sc. degree (with first class honors) in Electronics from the University of Dundee, Scotland and a D.Phil. degree in Engineering from the University of Oxford, England. He has 24 patents granted with a further 1 patent pending. He is a Member of the IEEE, Member of the IET and has been a long-term contributor to the OFC conference where he has served as general co-chair and steering committee chair.

Matthew Weed


Matthew Weed is a member of the original engineering team at Luminar, a leading automotive lidar provider, and is currently focused on the company’s future through analysis and roadmapping of the autonomous vehicle and sensor industries. His career has focused on commercializing advanced optics and photonics technologies and he has done so in drug delivery, medical diagnostics, and now automotive. In addition to his work at Luminar, Matthew is an active member of his international technical community sitting as a Board Member of the Florida Photonics Cluster and College of Optics & Photonics at UCF. Academically, he earned his PhD through studies of the integration and fabrication of chip-scale photonic devices at CREOL, the College of Optics at the University of Central Florida and received his Bachelor of Science in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He holds 32 US patents in laser, lidar, and other sensing technologies.

Peter Wigley

Technology Strategy Manager, Corning Optical Communications

Peter Wigley is Technology Strategy Manager for Corning Optical Communications in Corning, NY. He has held a broad range of technical, product related and strategic roles within Corning since 1995, related to photonics, optical fibers, optical amplifiers, dispersion compensation and optical communication systems. Following acquisition of Corning Photonic Technologies in 2003 by Avanex he was responsible for the commercialization of their Tunable Optical Dispersion Compensation products. He re-joined Corning Advanced optics in 2012 and became responsible for technology strategy for Corning Optical Communications since 2018. He has contributed to a broad range of optical communications related product innovations resulting in 31 issued patents related to optical components for amplification and signal processing, more recently focusing on user experience and digital transformation in access networks. Peter holds a PhD in Laser Optics from Imperial College, London and has been a senior member of the OSA since 2000.

Sam Rubin

CEO, LightPath Technologies

In Mr. Rubin’s prior senior executive role at Thorlabs, he was responsible for Thorlabs’ Imaging Systems Division, a standalone organization with its own sales and marketing, as well as global responsibility for all of Thorlabs’ Life Science activities. Among the positions he held at Thorlabs, Mr. Rubin founded and grew Thorlabs’s fast-growing operation in China, and spearheaded Thorlabs’ entry and significant growth in the Life Sciences market. As a member of the senior executive team, Mr. Rubin leads new strategic initiatives for Thorlabs, including new product lines, acquisitions, and growth into new markets. Prior to joining Thorlabs, Mr. Rubin co-founded XLight Photonics, an optical communication startup, which was later sold to a telecommunications private equity firm. Mr. Rubin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Engineering from Ben Gurion University, a Master of Business Administration degree from New York University, Stern School of Business, and is a graduate of the Executive Education, Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School.

Thomas A. Franklin

Shareholder, Co-Chair Electrical & Computer Technologies Practice Group, Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C.

Tommy Franklin co-chairs Wolf Greenfield’s Electrical & Computer Technologies Group. He provides a wide range of IP services including strategic patent portfolio development, conducting and defending due diligence, development of licensing agreements, patent validity and infringement opinions, trade secret policy development, and litigation-related counseling for both plaintiffs and defendants. Drawing on his broad technical background, Tommy works with clients spanning numerous technical fields, including photonics, medical devices, electromagnetic sensors, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), semiconductors and fluidic systems. Tommy represents both large and small companies, and is well versed in the different issues and pressures faced by different organizations. He is committed to understanding the business objectives of each of his clients and developing and implementing IP strategies that meet those objectives. He is particularly experienced at working with startups at many stages of the business, and at developing winning IP strategies that address the various interests brought to the table by the company’s inventors, executives and board members.


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