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DON SCIFRES received a B.S. degree (1968) from Purdue University and M.S. (1970) and Ph.D. (1972) degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois.
In 1972, Dr. Scifres joined Xerox PARC and set up a new laboratory for the study of semiconductor lasers and integrated optics. In 1974, Dr. Scifres and his co-workers reported and patented the first distributed feedback semiconductor injection laser which became the preferred light source for high speed long distance optical fiber communications. Dr. Scifres also performed pioneering work on integrated optical devices, vertical cavity surface emitting lasers and high power semiconductor lasers for communications, medical, industrial and aerospace applications. Based on this work, Dr. Scifres co-founded SDL, Inc. in 1983. He served as Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman of the Board of SDL, Inc. until February 2001, when SDL merged with JDS Uniphase Corporation in the largest technology buyout reported at that time. Dr. Scifres served as Co-chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of JDS Uniphase Corporation until January 2003. Thereafter, Dr. Scifres founded SDL Ventures, LLC, an investment firm focusing on early stage investments in the lasers, photonics, fiber optics and microwave communications, and biotech fields.
Dr. Scifres is a Fellow of the IEEE and OSA and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, APS and SPIE. He holds over 140 U.S. patents, and has published over 300 technical articles and book contributions. He has received a number of IEEE awards including the Jack Morton Medal (1985), the LEOS Award for Engineering Excellence (1994), the Third Millennium Medal (2000), and the Robert Noyce Medal (2003). He has also received the OSA Edward H. Land Medal (1996), the APS George E. Pake Prize (1997), the Rank Prize (2001) from The Rank Foundation of the U.K., and the Eta Kappa Nu Eminent Member Award (2003). Dr. Scifres has served as President of IEEE/LEOS, the Laser and Electro Optics Manufacturers Association and has served as a member of the Board of Governors of OSA and IEEE/LEOS

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