Stephen G. Anderson
Stephen G. Anderson
Director, Industry Development
Stephen Anderson is a photonics industry expert with an international background and has been actively involved with lasers and photonics for more than 30 years. As Director, Industry Development at SPIE – The international society for optics and photonics – he is responsible for tracking the photonics industry markets and technology to help define long-term strategy, while also facilitating development of SPIE’s industry activities. Before joining SPIE, Anderson was Associate Publisher and Editor in Chief of Laser Focus World and chaired the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar. Anderson also co-founded the BioOptics World brand. Anderson holds a chemistry degree from the University of York and an Executive MBA from Golden Gate University.
Giovanni Barbarossa, PhD
Chief Strategy Officer, II-VI Incorporated
President, Compound Semiconductors
Giovanni Barbarossa joined II-VI in 2012 and has been the Chief Strategy Officer of the company and the President of the Compound Semiconductors Segment since July 2019. Previously, he was the Chief Technology Officer of the company and the President of the Laser Solutions Segment. Dr. Barbarossa was employed at Avanex Corporation from 2000 through 2009, serving in various executive positions in product development and general management, ultimately serving as the President and Chief Executive Officer. When Avanex merged with Bookham Technology, forming Oclaro, Dr. Barbarossa became a member of the Board of Directors of Oclaro and served as such from 2009 to 2012. Previously, he had management responsibilities at British Telecom, AT&T Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, and Hewlett-Packard. Dr. Barbarossa graduated from the University of Bari, Italy, with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and has a Ph.D. in Photonics from the University of Glasgow, U.K.
John Dexheimer
John Dexheimer
LightWave Advisors
John Dexheimer is President of LightWave Advisors, and has a record of success in helping leading edge technology growth firms. He has advised on over 100 completed company financings and mergers in photonics, software, communications, electronics, and materials. He is also a partner of First Analysis Private Equity Fund, a growth equity investor with a long record in private capital investing. Previously he led the IPO of Uniphase, subsequently managed the equity research and venture organization of CE Unterberg Towbin, and was in the software industry with GE, DRI, and Broadview International. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard.
Bo Gu, PhD
Bo Gu, PhD
Bos Photonics
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. 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.
Karlheinz Gulden, PhD, CFA
Vice President Laser Devices and Systems
II-VI Incorporated
Dr. Gulden has been Vice President of II-VI since 2018. He is also General Manager of II-VI Laser Enterprise, a position he has held since 2014. Prior to that, he held executive positions at Oclaro, and had held CEO, COO, and CTO positions at VCSEL-maker Avalon Photonics, before its sale to Bookham (later Oclaro) in 2006. Previously, he was a section head at CSEM, the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microelectronics, and a staff scientist at the Paul Scherrer Institute. He has a PhD in Physics from the University of Erlangen-Nuremburg and is a CFA charterholder.
Mary Hibbs-Brenner, PhD
Co-founder and CEO
Vixar, an Osram Opto Semiconductor Company
Dr. Hibbs-Brenner brings 30 years of expertise guiding innovative semiconductor and optical technologies into the commercial market. In 2005 she co-founded Vixar, and has served as its CEO since its inception. She continued in that role after the acquisition of Vixar by Osram in 2018. Prior to co-founding Vixar, she held business development, technical management, and research positions at Honeywell, where she was responsible for initiating the company’s VCSEL business and held the position of Director of R&D within that business. She has an MBA from the Carlson School of Business, University of Minnesota, a PhD in Materials Science from Stanford University, and a BA in Physics from Carleton College. She spent two years doing post-doctoral research at the University of Linkoping.
Akira Hiruma
Akira Hiruma
President and CEO
Hamamatsu Photonics
Akira Hiruma has been President and CEO of Hamamatsu Photonics since 2009. Previously he headed the U.S. operations of Hamamatsu. He has a B.S. in computer science from Rutgers University.
Dieter Hoffman
Manager, Lasers and Optics
Fraunhofer ILT
Dieter Hoffmann is the Competence Area Manager heading six groups in the field of Lasers and Optics Development at Fraunhofer ILT. He also heads the Central Office of the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Advanced Photon Sources and is the coordinator of EffiLAS, the German initiative to develop efficient laser sources. Before assuming his role as Competence Area Manager in 2010, he was Head of the Department for Lasers and Laser Optics at ILT. Previously he was a research assistant at the Chair for Laser Technology of the RWTH Aachen University and Fraunhofer ILT. He has a degree in electrical engineering from the FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences and a degree in communications engineering from RWTH Aachen University.
Ralf Kimmel
General Manager
TRUMPF Laser Technology
Ralf Kimmel has been General Manager of the TRUMPF laser division business in North America since 2017, including responsibility for service, applications, and sales. The TRUMPF laser technology center in Plymouth, MI is one of the biggest TRUMPF sales subsidiaries within the laser division and provides laser technology to the US, Mexico, and Canada. His career began in 1996 as a design engineer at Robert Bosch in Stuttgart and continued as a project manager in the German Aerospace Center (DLR). He joined TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik in 2000. Mr. Kimmel has a degree in mechanical engineering with focus on cybernetics from the Universität Stuttgart.
Tom Hausken, PhD
John T.C. Lee, PhD
President and CEO
MKS Instruments
Dr. John TC Lee is President and Chief Executive Officer of MKS Instruments. Dr. Lee oversees the company’s business units, sales, service, marketing, operations, and quality and reliability. Prior to joining MKS, he held various leadership roles in the Maydan Technology Center, Wet Clean and Solar Business Groups at Applied Materials. Dr. Lee started his career as a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, eventually becoming Director of the Silicon Fabrication Research Department. He holds a BS from Princeton University and both an MSCEP and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, all in chemical engineering..
Jessica DeGroote Nelson, PhD
Jessica DeGroote Nelson, PhD
Director of Technology & Strategy
Optimax Systems
Jessica DeGroote Nelson is Director of Technology & Strategy at Optimax Systems, working with a large team to build future product and technology roadmaps through a continuous strategic planning process. She joined the company in 2007 to help build their R&D department fueled by several SBIRs focused on conformal and freeform optics. She is also an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics, teaching both graduate and undergraduate classes on optical materials, fabrication, and testing. Dr. DeGroot Nelson is active in several local and national optics societies, and serves as co-chair of OSA’s Optical Fabrication and Testing, OSA’s Freeform, and SPIE’s Optifab events. She has a BS, MS, and PhD in optics from the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics, and an executive MBA degree from the Simon School at the University of Rochester.
David Nislick, PhD
Excelitas Technologies
Dr. David Nislick is the CEO of Excelitas Technologies, previously serving as president of the Illumination and Detection Solutions (IDS) business unit of PerkinElmer. As part of Veritas Capital’s acquisition of PerkinElmer’s IDS business unit in 2010, he was appointed CEO of the newly re-launched company. As president of IDS, Nislick had management responsibility for the $300 million business unit, which included specialty lighting, sensors and other high-performance products for a variety of medical, analytical, energy-conserving, industrial, safety and security, and aerospace and defense applications. He has also held various leadership positions within PerkinElmer, including President of the Lighting business and Vice President of Business Development for PerkinElmer Optoelectronics. Earlier in his career he held senior marketing and corporate development roles with Corning Incorporated, Oak Industries, and Axsun Technologies. He holds a BA in Economics from Middlebury College and an MS and PhD in business economics from Harvard Business School.
Timothy Day, PhD
Allen Nogee
Laser Analyst
Strategies Unlimited
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.
Groot Gregory
Jennifer Douris O’Bryan
Government Affairs Director
Jennifer O’Bryan is the Government Affairs Director for SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and Chair of the Sensors and Instrumentation Technical Advisory Committee (SITAC) within the US Department of Commerce. She works with industry representatives to develop proposals to make needed changes to international export control regulations through submission to the Wassenaar Arrangement. Before joining SPIE, O’Bryan worked as a congressional aid to two senior members of the U.S. Congress, where she advised on technology, defense, and appropriations policy.
Ali Torabi
Vice President, Corporate Development
Array Photonics
Ali Torabi is Vice President of Corporate Development at Array Photonics, which he joined in 2014, and is responsible for the company’s business development and legal activities. He works alongside the technical leadership team at Array Photonics to plan and execute the introduction of the company’s photonics products to the optical sensing community. From 2009 to 2014, he worked at IBM, first as a strategy consultant with IBM Global Business Services and later as a contracts negotiator and manager in the company’s corporate legal department. Ali received his BA from Boston College and his JD from Suffolk University Law School.
Martin Vallo, PhD

Market & Technology Analyst

Solid State Lighting and Display Business Unit

Yole Développement

Dr. Vallo is a Market & Technology Analyst for Yole Développement, which he joined in 2018. He provides market research, strategy consulting, and technology evaluation in the fields of solid state lighting, laser diodes, OLEDs, and all related systems within the optoelectronic industry. Previously he had been a development engineer at Photonik Inkubator, and a researcher at CEA and Aixtron. He has a BS and MS from the Slovak University of Technology, and a PhD in semiconductor manufacturing technology from the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Institute of Electrical Engineering.
Kurt Weingarten, PhD
General Partner
Tarkas Ventures
Dr. Kurt Weingarten is a General Partner at Tarkas Ventures, which he established in January 2019; previously, he was CTO Lasers of Lumentum. He is a serial entrepreneur of both VC-funded and self-funded startups, having founded and led Time-Bandwidth Products (acquired by Lumentum/JDSU) and GigaTera. Earlier in his career he had been a project leader for ultrafast laser products at Lightwave Electronics. He holds a BS from Georgia Institute of Technology and an MS and PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University.