News Feature | August 7, 2017

Ed White Appointed Chair Of National Photonics Initiative Steering Committee

By Jof Enriquez
Follow me on Twitter @jofenriq

The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) has named Edward (“Ed”) White, the current Corporate Outreach Executive and head of the Test, Assembly and Packaging business for Rochester, NY-based AIM Photonics, as the new chair of the NPI Steering Committee.

White, who has served as a member of the committee since December 2015, will begin his new role as chair effective immediately. He replaces Alan Willner, who will stay on as a regular committee member.

“I am delighted to announce that our distinguished friend Ed White will become the next chair of the NPI Steering Committee,” said Willner. “As a long-time leading voice within the optics and photonics community, Ed brings a wealth of wisdom and private-sector expertise to the NPI. I know that there are truly great things to come under his leadership.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, White has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Rochester. He started his career at Kodak before founding his own consulting firm and serving as CEO of JML Optical Industries.

As Corporate Outreach Executive at AIM Photonics, a public-private partnership to promote global manufacturing standards for the photonic integrated circuit (PIC) industry, he is tasked with selecting companies that could benefit from improvements in PIC manufacturing, educating the public about the merits of PICs, and increasing membership in the consortium. Concurrently, he leads the AIM Photonics’ Test, Assembly and Packaging business.

White brings his extensive experience in industry-academe-government collaboration to his new role at NPI, which is a partnership of top photonics societies — The American Physical Society, IEEE Photonics Society, Laser Institute of America (LIA), The Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

“It is an honor to serve as chair of an organization that for the past several years has successfully united our community to advance optics and photonics in the United States,” said White. “I extend my deepest thanks to Alan Willner for his years of leadership and friendship.”

During his tenure, Willner identified as future focus areas high-performance computing and quantum information systems, including a proposal to establish a US National Quantum Initiative (NQI) to commercialize emerging quantum technologies using "quantum innovation labs.” Under his leadership, NPI supported the successful passage of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act and the 21st Century Cures Act.

The alliance also has advocated for the creation and federal funding for an Integrated Photonics Institute For Manufacturing Innovation to advance the state-of-the-art in the design, manufacture, testing, assembly, and packaging of complex PICs.

“I congratulate Mr. White on being named chair of the NPI Steering Committee,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Perinton. “He has worked side-by-side with me and many in the industry as we launch the photonics institute and position our community to lead the world in this revolutionary research."