2017 Speakers

Below is a list of our 2017 speakers listed in alphabetical order by last name. Please see our conference page for schedule details.


John Ambroseo, PhD
President and CEO
Coherent (Santa Clara, CA)

Bio: Dr. Ambroseo has been President and CEO of Coherent since 2002, as well as a member of the Board of Directors. He joined Coherent in 1988 and has held a series of increasingly responsible positions, serving as Sales Engineer, Product Marketing Manager, National Sales Manager, and Director of European Operations. He has also been Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President, President, and General Manager of the Coherent Photonics Group and Manager of the Scientific Business Unit. Dr. Ambroseo received a Bachelor’s degree from SUNY-College at Purchase and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.


Barbara Gefvert
Editor in Chief
BioOptics World

Bio: Barbara Gefvert is chief editor of BioOptics World. She has been a science and technology editor and writer since 1987, and served as editor in chief on multiple publications, including Sensors magazine for nearly a decade. She is the recipient of various editorial awards, and received her BS from Michigan State University and MS from Southern New Hampshire University.


Bo Gu, PhD
Consultant (USA)

Bio: An independent consultant advising photonics companies doing business in China and Asia, Dr. Gu has worked for 25 years in small, mid-, and large laser companies in the US and China, including IPG Photonics, GSI Group, and Resonetics. From 2008 to 2011, he was the director of IPG Asia operations and general manager of IPG China, responsible for developing Asian and Chinese markets. In 2010, he became the first foreign national elected to the executive committee of the Chinese Optical Society Laser Processing Committee, which he currently serves as its vice president.


Tom Hausken, PhD
Senior Industry Advisor
OSA—The Optical Society (Washington, DC)

Bio: Dr. Tom Hausken is Senior Industry Advisor for the OSA and OIDA. For 13 years until 2012, he led market research and strategy consulting for lasers, image sensors, and a range of other photonics products at PennWell’s Strategies Unlimited group. In the past he was also an analyst at OIDA and telecom policy analyst at the U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and held R&D and production positions at Alcatel and Texas Instruments in photonics and electronics. He received his BS in electrical engineering from Montana State University--Bozeman, and PhD in optoelectronics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Conard Holton
Editor in Chief/Associate Publisher
Laser Focus World


Allen Nogee
Laser Analyst
Strategies Unlimited

Bio: Allen Nogee tracks hardware trends in lasers and laser-related industries worldwide for Strategies Unlimited. He has more than 25 years of experience in the photonics and electronics industry in hardware and software development, in addition to semiconductor market analysis. In the past, Nogee has been a Research Director and Principal Analyst at In-Stat, where he tracked RF semiconductors, cellular infrastructure, and wireless technologies. Mr. Nogee is President of Laser Markets Research (Scottsdale, AZ), and has an MBA from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology.


Wilhelm Kaenders, PhD
TOPTICA Photonics (Munich, Germany)

Bio: In 1998, Dr. Kaenders co-founded TOPTICA Photonics and he is now serving as Vorstand/President. He developed an interest in cold atom physics as a Ph.D. student at the Institute of Quantum Optics in Hannover, closely collaborating with Prof. Theodor Hänsch's group at the Max-Planck-Institute in Garching. Dr. Kaenders started TOPTICA with tunable diode laser technology, which is still a driving force in TOPTICA’s line of scientific and industrial products. In 2013, TOPTICA acquired eagleyard Photonics GmbH, one of the key suppliers of high brightness and wavelength-stabilized laser diodes to drive further product integration in particular for quantum technology applications.


Wayne H. Knox PhD
Professor of Optics, Physics, Materials Science and Vision Science; University of Rochester
Chief Scientific Officer, Clerio Vision Inc.

Bio: Dr. Knox, former director at The Institute of Optics at University of Rochester (NY), has worked in the field of ultrafast lasers for more than 40 years, and counts ultrafast biomedical optics on his short list of interest areas. He is co-inventor of laser-induced refractive index change (LIRIC) technology, developed at U of R in collaboration with Bausch & Lomb. Once positioned as B&L’s next-generation refractive surgery platform, LIRIC’s B&L development was derailed by the company’s 2013 acquisition by Valeant Pharmaceuticals. After the intellectual property and equipment reverted to the university, it was licensed to Clerio Vision (Rochester, NY), which was founded that same year for the purpose of commercializing LIRIC.


Nicholas Usechak PhD
Director of the Ultrafast Photonic Devices and Research Laboratory
U.S. Air Force Research Lab
Wright-Patterson AFB, OH


Bio: Dr. Usechak is currently Director of the Ultrafast Photonic Devices and Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He also serves as the Government’s CTO for AIM Photonics and supports DARPA on a number of program. Previously he worked at Trumpf Photonics as a senior engineer characterizing high-power semiconductor laser arrays, among other tasks. He has a BS in electrical engineering and engineering physics from Lehigh University, and an MS and PhD in optical engineering from the Institute of Optics, University of Rochester. At the University of Rochester, he conducted his experimental work in the Laboratory for Laser Energetics. His research interests include nonlinear fiber optics, fiber lasers, ultrafast optics, high-speed test and measurement, high-power semiconductor lasers, mode-locked lasers, parametric processes, optical clock generation, novel gain media, and diverse waveform generation.


Eman Namati, PhD
Vice President of R&D
NinePoint Medical (Bedford, MA)

Bio: As a founding member of NinePoint Medical in 2010, Dr. Namati brought extensive scientific and technical expertise in the fields of medical imaging. Before joining NinePoint, he was a post-doctoral research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School working with Gary Tearney and Brett Bouma on the development of optical coherence tomography (OCT), the core technology licensed to NinePoint. He helped build and lead the product development team, translating the academic technology into a commercial medical device in less than 3 years. He holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering through a dual program with Flinders University Australia and the University of Iowa, and received a double undergraduate degree in Engineering (BE) and Science (BSc) from Flinders University Australia.


Mark Neice
Executive Director
Directed Energy Professional Society (Albuquerque, NM)

Bio: Mark Neice is the Executive Director of the Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS), which fosters research, development and transition of directed energy (DE) technologies, including high energy laser (HEL) and high power radio frequency (HPRF) technologies. He led the High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office from 2004-2012 for the U.S. Department of Defense. Before that assignment, he was the Chief of the Laser Technology Division, Air Force Research Lab at Kirtland AFB, and led the systems engineering efforts for the Airborne Laser Program Office (1996-2004). Mark Neice received a BS in Engineering Sciences from the U.S. Air Force Academy and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton. He has also attended the USAF Test Pilot School.


Brian Pogue, PhD
Professor of Engineering, Dartmouth College
Professor of Surgery, Geisel School of Medicine (Hanover, NH)
Co-founder, DoseOptics (Lebanon, NH)

Bio: Dr. Brian Pogue is Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth College and Professor of Surgery at the Geisel School of Medicine, directing PhD programs in Engineering and Medical Physics. His research interests are in optics in medicine, biomedical imaging to guide cancer therapy, molecular guided surgery, radiation dose imaging with Cherenkov light, photodynamic therapy for cancer and modeling of tumor pathophysiology. He is also President & Co-founder of DoseOptics (www.doseoptics.com; Lebanon, NH), a startup developing technology capable of real time imaging of radiation therapy to cancer patients during treatment. Dr. Pogue has a BS and MS in Physics from York University, a PhD in Medical Physics from McMaster University, and post-doctoral training at the Harvard Medical School.


Prof. Dr. Reinhart Poprawe
Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT (Aachen, Germany)

Bio: Prof. Dr. Reinhart Poprawe has been the Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT since 1996, and holds the University Chair for Laser Technology at the RWTH Aachen. He joined the Fraunhofer ILT as head of the Laser Oriented Process Development department in 1985, after receiving his PhD in Physics from Technical University Darmstadt. He also received an MS in Physics from California State University in Fresno. He has served as managing director of Thyssen Laser Technik, is a board member of the Laser Institute of America, and serves on many national and international boards as advisor, referee, or consultant. Prof. Poprawe received an honorary professorship at Tsinghua University and, in 2014, the Schawlow Award of the Laser Institute of America.


Eva M. Sevick, PhD
Professor and Cullen Chair in Molecular Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center's Institute of Molecular Medicine
Director of the Center for Molecular Imaging
Founder & interim President, NIRF Imaging Inc. (Houston, TX)


Bio: Dr. Sevick has pioneered the development of near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) optical imaging and tomography for molecular imaging and currently has two clinical trials underway that apply the technology for novel diagnostic imaging of lymphatic function. She founded NIRF Imaging Inc. to create shareholder value by commercializing innovative in vivo clinical diagnostic devices, and molecular imaging agents based on this work. Her team at the University of Texas Health Science Center is also active in preclinical, small animal imaging with nuclear and optical techniques and is pioneering diagnostic imaging for nodal staging in cancer. At the Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM) she leads the National Cancer Institute Center for Translational Research, which focuses upon the development and validation of new imaging instrumentation, algorithms, and imaging agents and their clinical translation.


Linda Smith
Ceres Technology Advisors (Needham, MA)

Bio: Linda Smith is president of Ceres Technology Advisors, which she founded in 2005 to serve photonics technology business owners who are largely underserved by investment banks and business brokerages. She has 25 years of experience as an advisor for mergers and acquisition, and in photonics product management, sales, engineering, and business valuation. She is well-known for her role in identifying opportunities in optics and laser markets, and in developing, managing, and financing growth of public and private companies. Smith has held sales and management positions at Thermo Electron/Spectra Physics, LINOS Photonics/Qioptiq, and Melles Griot. She has a BS in optics and mathematics from the University of Rochester and an MBA from Babson College.


John Spencer, PhD
President and CEO
Photodigm (Richardson, TX)

Bio: Dr. Spencer co-founded Photodigm in 2000 and serves as its President and CEO. Previously, he founded PlasmaQuest, a supplier of plasma processing equipment to the semiconductor, data storage, and optoelectronics industry, and served as President until its acquisition by Applied Science and Technology in 1998. He has also been Director of Technology at Machine Technology, Inc., Member of Technical Staff at Texas Instruments, and Research Chemist at General Electric. Dr. Spencer is the author of more than 50 papers, and has a BS from Millsaps College and a PhD from Rice University.


Giacomo Vacca, PhD
Founder and President
Kinetic River (Mountain View, CA)

Bio: In 2010, Dr. Vacca found Kinetic River, a design, consulting, and product development company specializing in life science and biomedical applications, with a core strength in flow cytometry. His career spans the energy sector, telecommunications, lasers, microfluidics, and medical diagnostics, including 25 years of experience in R&D and other roles. He conceived and developed Laser Rastering, which boosts flow cytometric analysis throughput by a factor of 30. He has also helped develop flow cytometers, hematology analyzers, solid-state lasers, and integrated waveguide optical components. Dr. Vacca earned his BA and MA in Physics from Harvard University, and his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University.

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