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2011 John Tyndall Award Recipient:
David F. Welch

David Welch
Dr. David F. Welch

The John Tyndall Award is jointly sponsored by the IEEE Photonics Society and the Optical Society. The award is presented annually to a single individual who has made outstanding contributions in any area of optical-fiber technology, including optical fibers themselves, the optical components used in fiber systems, as well as transmission systems and networks using fibers. The contributions which the award recognizes should meet the test of time and should be of proven benefit to science, technology, or society. The contributions may be experimental or theoretical. This award Nominees need not be members of the sponsoring societies. Corning Inc. endorses the award which consists of a glass sculpture, a scroll, and an honorarium. The deadline for nominations is 10 August.
     The John Tyndall Award will be presented to David F. Welch, “for seminal contributions to photonic ICs and semiconductor lasers deployed in fiber optic communication systems around the world.” The presentation will be made during the Plenary Session at OFC/NFOEC 2011 which is taking place 6–10 March 2011, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA USA.
     Dr. David F. Welch received his BSEE from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, where his thesis was entitled “Quantum Well Heterostructures for Optical Devices”. After graduating from Cornell, he joined Spectra Diode Labs (later SDL) as a research scientist. He went on to become Vice President of Research and subsequently Chief Technology Officer and Vice President for Corporate Development. In his technical capacity, Dr. Welch was responsible for the development and commercialization of high power semiconductor lasers, high efficiency Nd:YAG lasers, fiber lasers and amplifiers, and devices associated with non-linear optical materials. Dr. Welch was further engaged in the development of materials and fabrication techniques for GaAs,InGaAs,AlGaInP, AlGaN, GaInAsP/InP, GaInAsP/GaAs, InGaAsSb, GaAsN, and GaP, for semiconductor laser systems. These laser and optical technologies were developed for communications, printing, material processing, displays and a variety of advanced applications. As CTO and VP Corporate Development, Dr. Welch successfully identified, negotiated, and completed six corporate acquisitions and the merger of SDL with JDS Uniphase, the largest technology acquisition of its time.
     After leaving JDSU as the CTO of optical transmission products, Dr. Welch co-founded Infinera, now a leading supplier of fiber optic transmission systems based on innovative Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) technology.As CTO for Infinera, he was responsible for execution of the optical transport system, including PIC and optical line system architecture, specification, performance, and transition from concept to manufacturing and deployment. As Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, he was responsible for overall corporate technology vision, and the primary interface for complete optical system architecture, specifications/validation of design, development and execution of product roadmaps, product line management, corporate marketing, and business/corporate development. He currently holds the position of Executive Vice President, and Chief Strategy Officer where his role has been expanded to include responsibility for complete corporate strategy including markets, products, and execution strategies.
     Dr. Welch has published over 250 articles and holds more than 125 patents in optical components and systems. Awards include the 1992 Adolph Lomb Award from OSA, the 1998 Engineering Achievement Award from LEOS, and the 1999 OSA Joseph Fraunhofer/ Robert M. Burley Award. He serves on the board of directors of OSA and is a fellow of the IEEE.

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