Summit Speaker: Michael Lebby


President and CEO
Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA)

Michael Lebby joined OIDA as Executive Director in 2005 and became its president and CEO in February, 2006.  Lebby is driving new directions at OIDA in optoelectronics and photonics that include areas such as green photonics, plastic photonics, terabit photonics, display photonics, bio-photonics, and sensing photonics.

With more than 175 U.S. patents issued in the field of optoelectronics, Lebby has been cited by the USPTO to be in the most prolific 75 inventors in the country from 1988-1997. Lebby’s career has spanned all aspects of the optoelectronics business ranging from research and development, operations, manufacturing, and finance, to sales, marketing, and investing.

In 1985, Lebby’s research took him to AT&T Bell Laboratories, followed in 1989 by a move to Motorola’s Phoenix Corporate Research Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona. Lebby researched and developed III-V compound semiconductor devices and focused his work in bringing the VCSEL technology to full scale manufacturing. Lebby co-founded a market changing datacom product called Optobus™.

In August 1998, Lebby joined AMP as a member of the Global Optoelectronics Division's management team, where he was responsible for growing AMP's fiber optic datacom and telecom business through external interactions that include mergers, acquisitions strategic alliances, and technical strategic planning. In 1999, Lebby joined Intel as a corporate investor and was responsible for sourcing, negotiating, and closing private placement equity deals in the optical networking, component, and semiconductor arenas. Lebby served as Intel’s board observer on a number of photonics based start-ups.

In 2001, Lebby founded a new fiber optics company, Ignis Optics, where he served as the CEO. He led the company to secure a multinational customer base through it’s development of 10Gbps transceiver products. Ignis Optics was acquired by Bookham Technology (now Oclaro) in October 2003 and Lebby became responsible for corporate and technical strategy at Bookham Technology.

In 2005, the IEEE Board of Directors elected Lebby to IEEE Fellow for contributions to optoelectronics technology. In 2007, Lebby became an OSA Fellow for his photonics leadership and contributions to VCSEL technology. In 2008, Lebby was elected into the Cosmos Club in Washington DC.

Lebby's recent activities at OIDA have raised the profile of 'green photonics' from both a technology and a marketing standpoint. After reviewing the photonics technology forecasts over the next decade, it became clear to OIDA that green photonics is poised to for significant growth globally. With a green photonics workshop (Sept2008), and a full peer-reviewed technical conference with over 100 papers (May2009), Lebby is helping the segment to become better defined. Lebby has stated publically in numerous plenary and keynote talks that photonics will quickly grow to be a strong enabler for energy efficient systems in the future. Lebby is now preparing technology roadmaps for OIDA members.

Lebby is also trying to raise national awareness in a number of photonics arena such as: photonics foundry (both InP and silicon photonics); USA based on-shore photonic manufactuirng, assembly, and packaging; the use of more photonics in broadband networks; the threat of fiber optic communication network-choking (especially in core systems as traffic continues to grow); how to attian 1Tbps photonic devices; technical challenges of photonic integrated circuits (PICs); new opportunities for photonic sensing, and energy efficient photonic solutions such as: thin film multijunction solar cells, plastic photonics (flexible lighting solutions), and novel applications of high brightness LEDs in consumer markets for solid state lighting.


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