Photonic Symposium Speakers

Aart de Geus

Dr. Aart de Geus

Founder, Chairman and co-CEO
Synopsys, Inc.

Since co-founding Synopsys in 1986, Dr. de Geus has expanded Synopsys from a start-up synthesis company to a global high-tech leader. Dr. de Geus has long been considered one of the world's leading experts on logic synthesis and simulation, and frequently keynotes major conferences in Electronics and Design Automation.

Dr. de Geus has been widely recognized for his technical, business and community achievements with multiple awards, including Electronic Business Magazine’s “CEO of the Year,” the IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal, the GSA Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award, the Silicon Valley Engineering Council Hall of Fame Award, and the SVLG Lifetime Achievement Award. He serves on the Boards of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Applied Materials, the Global Semiconductor Alliance, and the Electronic Design Automation Consortium.

Aart de Geus

Robert Blum

Senior Director, New Business and Marketing

Robert Blum is Senior Director of Marketing and New Business for Intel’s Silicon Photonics Product Division. Prior to joining Intel, Robert was Director of Strategic Marketing at Oclaro Inc., and held various Director of Product Management and Marketing roles for Oclaro’s telecommunications products and consumer laser portfolio. Before joining Oclaro, Robert was Product Line Manager for optical transmission components at JDS Uniphase Corporation and held various engineering and marketing management roles at Gemfire Corporation, all in California. Robert worked at Deutsche Telekom’s research labs in Darmstadt, Germany, while completing his master’s thesis and holds a doctorate degree in Physics from the University of Technology in Hamburg. He has also studied and done research at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne, Switzerland, and at Stanford University, California.


Aart de Geus

Dr. Samir Chaudry

Director, Design Enablement
Tower Semiconductor

Dr. Chaudhry has been leading the IC Design Enablement group for Tower Semiconductor since 2008. Prior to this, he led the SPICE modeling group at Jazz Semiconductor. His research interests include RF CMOS and statistical modeling. He has worked with the Compact Modeling Council in developing industry standard compact models for circuit simulation. Prior to joining Jazz, he was a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff with Bell Labs, where he worked on Technology CAD and device modeling for scaled silicon technologies. He has authored over 25 journal publications and has 30 patents in the field of silicon technology.

Aart de Geus

Lisa Huff

Senior Principal Analyst, Optical Components

Lisa Huff is a Senior Principal Analyst, Optical Components at Omdia. She joined Ovum as a Principal Analyst, Optical Components in March 2018. Prior to that, she had her own market research and consulting firm, Discerning Analytics, LLC (DA) for nine years. Lisa is a Certified Data Center Management Professional (CDCMP®) and degreed electrical engineer with over 30 years experience. Her expertise is in data centers, optical components, data communications cabling and connectivity and networking equipment.  Her Omdia focus areas include optical components used in data communications and data centers. Lisa has authored over 50 technical papers and market research reports and has chaired and presented at many industry conferences.

Aart de Geus

Twan Korthorst

Director, Photonic Solutions
Synopsys, Inc.

Twan Korthorst is Director of Photonic Solutions at Synopsys. He has been active in the field of chip design and fabrication for non-traditional semiconductor micro and nanotechnologies for over 25 years. After roles in product engineering and fabrication, he joined the PhoeniX Software team in 2007 and developed the company into a leading supplier of design solutions for photonic ICs (PICs) in his role as CEO. In February 2018, Synopsys acquired PhoeniX Software, bringing together the industry’s widest portfolio of solutions for designing and manufacturing photonic devices, optical systems, and photonic integrated circuits within one organization and one single support channel. Twan leads the Photonic IC Solutions and Services activities and continues to advocate for integrated photonics technologies around the world. Synopsys is accelerating the adoption of photonics and PIC technology with software to design energy efficient, high-performance photonic devices, systems, and integrated circuits. The Photonic Solutions portfolio offers a seamless design flow from concept to manufacturable design, supported by photonics experts, to help customers design the next generation of communications, sensing, and imaging solutions.

Aart de Geus

Dr. Benjamin Miller

Professor of Dermatology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, Biomedical Engineering, and Optics
University of Rochester Medical Center

Prof. Benjamin L. Miller completed his undergraduate studies at Miami University (Ohio), receiving degrees in Chemistry (B.S.), Mathematics (A.B.), and German (A.B.) in 1988. He next moved to Stanford University, where he carried out his Ph. D. research in Chemistry under the direction of Paul Wender. Following a stint as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Harvard in Stuart Schreiber’s laboratory, he joined the University of Rochester faculty in 1996, where he is currently Dean’s Professor of Dermatology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science, and Optics. His group’s expertise in molecular recognition, combinatorial chemistry, nanotechnology, and optical sensing has been applied to the development of novel optical biosensor platforms, and synthetic compounds targeting RNAs involved in several human diseases. He is a Fellow of the OSA, AIMBE, and AAAS. Miller is a founder of Adarza BioSystems, Inc., a multiplex optical biodetection company located in St. Louis, MO. He is also the Academic Lead for Integrated Photonic Sensors in AIM Photonics.

Aart de Geus

Dr. Luis Orbe

Customer Support Coordinator
Synopsys, Inc.

Luis Orbe has multiple years of experience in photonic integrated circuit (PIC) design, customer enablement, and training program coordination.

He received his PhD and MSc degrees in Engineering Management and Logistics and Advanced Electronic Systems from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, where he specialized in PIC design for mid-infrared sensing and monolithic integration. He has contributed to European PIC design and education initiatives, authored or co-authored 20 papers in the field of photonics, and holds a patent for a photonic multiplexer/demultiplexer design.

Aart de Geus

Ed Preisler

Director of Technology Development
Tower Semiconductor

Dr. Preisler has been involved with analog/RF process development since joining Tower Semiconductor in 2004 and has held the title of Director of Technology Development since 2012. He has served on the committees of the IEEE RFIC and BCTM conferences and as a member of the ITRS wireless roadmap bipolar device committee.

Dr. Preisler received a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from U.C. San Diego and a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Caltech in 2003 with a thesis that focused on antimonide semiconductors for optoelectronics. After graduating he served as a post-doctoral researcher at the IBM T.J. Watson research lab working on crystalline oxides and high-K gate dielectrics.

He has authored or co-authored 32 papers in the field of compound and column IV alloy semiconductor processing and device development, and two book chapters on bipolar device physics and processing.


Aart de Geus

Rob Stone

Technical Sourcing Manager

Rob Stone currently holds the role of Technical Sourcing Manager at Facebook, focusing on next generation high speed interconnects. Prior to Facebook, Rob was a distinguished engineer at Broadcom within the switch architecture team, where he was responsible for switch IO ecosystem and system design, actively representing Broadcom in a number of industry groups including IEEE as well as MSA and industry organizations. He has over 20 years of industry experience bringing communications technologies to market and has held both technical and managerial positions at Broadcom, Intel, Infinera, Emcore, Skorpios Technologies, and Bandwidth 9. Rob holds a D.Phil. in Physics from The University of Oxford.

Aart de Geus

Aaron Zilkie

CTO Photonics
Rockley Photonics

Aaron has led the early core photonic platform development in Rockley, and currently leads Rockley’s internal next-gen technology/R&D team developing novel integrated photonics technologies for high-growth product solutions.  He is also responsible for the IP portfolio development.

Aaron brings over 22 years of experience and leadership in technology innovation, R&D, new product development, and IP portfolio development in a broad range of optics and photonics application areas including biosensing, healthcare monitoring, 3D imaging, LiDAR, data communications, high performance computing, and fiber optic networks.

Aaron holds over 40 granted U.S. patents, has authored numerous journal publications and white papers, and given numerous invited conference presentations on Rockley’s technology. Aaron holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering (Photonics) from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Manitoba.