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Local optics veteran takes the helm at AIM Photonics  

Local optics veteran takes the helm at AIM Photonics  

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William W. (Wade) Cook has been appointed executive director of the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics. 


AIM Photonics – based in Albany – is a public-private partnership of industry and both federal and state governments dedicated to advancing photonic integrated circuit manufacturing in the U.S. by providing cost-effective access to state-of-the-art silicon photonics fabrication, packaging and testing. 

Cook has over 20 years’ technology experience in optics and photonics, serving in roles ranging from engineer to manager to executive-level positions, where he developed an aptitude for formulating organizational strategies to increase sales, improve customer relationships and manage the design and development of photonic devices. 

“I’m excited to have this chance to contribute to the growth of an industry that’s so important to the future of New York and the U.S.,” Cook said. “Integrated photonics technologies offer the promise of smaller, better, faster, lighter devices that will significantly improve people’s lives and help ensure our country’s defense readiness.” 

Cook is no stranger to the Rochester optics community. He earned his Ph.D. in Optics at the University of Rochester and spent much of his professional career at some of the region’s leading companies including ITT Industries Space Systems division, ASE Optics (a division of Rochester Precision Optics), Quality Vision International and most recently, JML Optical Industries.  

He also served as past president of the Optical Society of America Rochester Section and is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster. Cook is also an active member of Optica, the Optical Society as well as SPIE, the International Society of Optical Engineers  

Cook also served more than 29 years in the U.S. Army, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point and a Master of Science in Strategic Studies at the U.S. Army War College.  

“After an extensive search, we know that Wade is the right leader for AIM Photonics,” said Tod A. Laursen, acting president at SUNY Polytechnic Institute and chairman of AIM Photonics’ Leadership Council, in a statement. “His considerable industry experience, combined with his proven leadership skills, will help strengthen AIM Photonics’ position as a technology leader and continue to cultivate the ever-important strategic alliances needed to grow the integrated photonics ecosystem in the U.S.” 

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