AIM Photonics Leadership Council gets new leader

AIM Photonics Leadership Council gets new leader

The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) on Wednesday said it had appointed Tod Laursen as chair of the AIM Photonics Leadership Council, which focuses on the strategic and technical direction of the institute, a role previously held by Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Inc. President and CEO Robert Duffy.

In his new role, Laursen will hold leadership and oversight responsibilities, including direct engagement with industry and government stakeholders, strategic planning and management, and guiding photonics-enabled innovation.

“The promise of AIM Photonics is rooted in its network of researchers, innovative partnerships, and the exciting possibilities that integrated photonics can make a reality,” Laursen said. “I am honored to deeply engage with industry, academia and government stakeholders in this new role to execute a strategy building on AIM’s successes to further enable a sustainable future and global manufacturing leadership related to this essential technology. I am so appreciative to Bob Duffy for his years of dedicated leadership and service and look forward to working closely with the AIM leadership team as we support the manufacturing institute’s R&D and commercialization efforts, anticipate increased collaborations and facilitate technological competitiveness for the nation.”

AIM Photonics is the nation’s first Photonic Integrated Chip (PIC) manufacturing institute, advancing integrated photonic technology and associated workforce development. A public-private partnership founded in 2015, AIM Photonics is nationally recognized for creating the world’s first open-access, complete integrated photonics manufacturing ecosystem. AIM’s ecosystem provides the photonics industry, the academic research community and the government access to a full suite of design tools, advanced wafer fabrication, testing and chip packaging technologies throughout the entire product development cycle.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience throughout the past five years and it has been both an honor and a privilege to work alongside and observe the super talented team of academic and business leaders,” Duffy said in a statement. “They have done amazing work and deserve great credit for the many accomplishments of AIM Photonics, and they will not miss a beat with Tod Laursen as Chair.

“I am thrilled that Dr. Laursen will be replacing me, as I’ve worked with him as a SUNY trustee and have enormous respect for his talent and leadership. I would like to be clear that my reason for resigning is due solely to a growing list of professional commitments and I can no longer dedicate the time and attention that the Leadership Council deserves from its chair,” Duffy added. “I would like to thank the entire AIM team for providing me with this wonderful opportunity – it has been enjoyable and educational, and I will continue to be a strong advocate for the work of AIM Photonics.”

In December 2020, the State University of New York board of trustees appointed Laursen to serve as acting president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute. Previously, Laursen was the senior vice chancellor and provost of SUNY, a post he assumed in September of 2018. Laursen joined SUNY from Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where he was the founding president and served as its leader since 2010.

The AIM Photonics Leadership Council is a requirement of the Department of Defense and, under the guidance of Laursen, governs AIM Photonics. Leadership Council positions are volunteer and receive no compensation. AIM Photonics, through its Leadership Council and with guidance from the Leadership Council chairman, has the opportunity to positively influence key industry decision-makers in their location and sourcing decisions. In addition to customary governance and oversight responsibilities, the Leadership Council works to increase industry participation through shared technology infrastructure in Albany, Rochester and nationwide.

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