Workshop 2022


Shedding Light on Innovation | 2022 Workshop

Alissa Fitzgerald Headshot

Alissa M. Fitzgerald, Ph.D.

Founder & CEO A.M. Fitzgerald & Associates, LLCT
A.M. Fitzgerald & Associates, LLC

Dr. Fitzgerald founded A.M. Fitzgerald & Associates, LLC (“AMFitzgerald”), a MEMS product development company located in the Bay Area of California, in 2003. She has over 25 years of engineering experience in MEMS design, fabrication and product development. Having developed more than a dozen distinct MEMS devices, such as piezoresistive pressure sensors, ultrasound transducers, and infrared imagers, she now advises clients on the entire cycle of microelectronic product development, from business and IP strategy to supply chain and manufacturing operations. Prior to founding AMFitzgerald, Dr. Fitzgerald worked in engineering and management positions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Orbital Sciences Corporation, and Sensant Corporation, now part of Siemens. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MIT and her Ph.D. from Stanford University in Aeronautics and Astronautics. Dr. Fitzgerald is an author of MEMS Product Development (Springer, 2021), has numerous journal publications, and holds nine patents. She is a member of the SEMI-MSIG Standards Committee and served as a board director on the MEMS Industry Group (MIG) Governing Council from 2008-2014. In 2013, she was inducted into the MIG Hall of Fame. She is currently a board director of Rigetti Computing and of the Transducer Research Foundation.

Ben Wiltshire

Modeling & Test Senior Engineer

Ben Wiltshire joined Zinite in 2021 as a senior engineer working on testing and modelling devices at the nanoscale level.  He graduated from University of Alberta in 2013 and 2017 with BSc. Engineering Physics and MSc. Electrical Engineering, respectively.  He finished his PhD from the University of British Columbia in 2022 on the topic of microwave sensor analysis, with a special interest in integrating semiconductive materials for sensing applications.  He was awarded the NSERC Canadian Graduate Student Scholarship from 2019-2022 and has published over 30 journal and conference articles.   

Chiara Alessandri Headshot

Chiara Alessandri

Sales and Application Engineer
Luceda Photonics

Chiara obtained her master degree in Physics with summa cum laude at Università degli Studi di Milano in 2015 with the thesis “Production and characterisation of high speed graphene-based broadband optical modulators” carried out at imec (Belgium). She continued the work started with the master thesis during her PhD in the silicon photonics group at imec, where she was the main researcher focused on graphene integration in silicon photonics. In 2020 she received the Doctoral Degree (PhD) in Photonics Engineering from Ghent University with the thesis entitled “Graphene-Silicon Photonics Integrated Devices for Optical Interconnects”. After her PhD, she joined Luceda Photonics as application engineer to take up the challenge of putting her technical skills into practice and combining them with soft skills necessary for a customer-facing job. She has since taken over the role of product marketing manager, overseeing Luceda’s marketing efforts, including market research, positioning and messaging. She also guides customers through the technical sales process, gives regular individual or group trainings to teach how to design using the IPKISS Photonics Design Platform and creates training material and PIC design tutorials on Luceda’s online learning hub, Luceda Academy. In 2020, she started Luceda’s partnership with SiEPICfab and has since coordinated Luceda’s relations and contributions to the consortium.

Clint Landrock, M.A.Sc. 

Vice President, Technology & Innovation

Clint is a BC technology and business leader with global experience and winning track record of leading multi-disciplinary teams from start-ups through to mature product suppliers. Areas of expertise include advanced optics, nano-fabrication, holography, anti-counterfeiting and currency security. Clint co-founded NanoTech Security Corp., and acted as its Chief Technology Officer growing the company from a small start up to nearly $10M per year in revenue within 5 years. Nanotech was acquired by Meta Materials for $91M CAD in 2021.


Gord Harling

President and CEO
CMC Microsystems

Gordon Harling received a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science from the University of Toronto and a Maîtrise en Ingénierie Physique from Polytechnique Montréal. He has worked in Research and Development at large companies such as Mitel, NovAtel, and DALSA. He has been a founder and CEO of several start-up companies including Goal Semiconductor, Elliptic Technologies, and Innotime Technologies. He joined CMC Microsystems in February 2018 as President and CEO.

Lukas Chrostowski, PhD

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of British Columbia

Lukas Chrostowski is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Born in Poland, he earned the B.Eng. in electrical engineering from McGill University and the PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Berkeley. With research interests in silicon photonics, optoelectronics, high-speed laser (VCSEL) design, fabrication and test, for applications in optical communication systems and biophotonics, he has published more than 200 journal and conference publications. 

He co-edited a book “High-Speed Photonics Interconnects” (2013), and co-authored the book “Silicon Photonics Design” (Cambridge University Press, 2015).  Dr. Chrostowski served as the co-director of the University of British Columbia AMPEL Nanofabrication Facility (2008-2017).  He is the Program Director the NSERC CREATE Silicon Electronic-Photonic Integrated Circuits (Si-EPIC) research training program in Canada, and has been teaching numerous silicon photonics workshops and courses since 2008.  

He spent his 2011-12 sabbatical at the University of Washington, Seattle, with Michael Hochberg’s group. Chrostowski received the Killam Teaching Prize at the University of British Columbia in 2014.  He was an elected member of the IEEE Photonics 2014-2016 Society Board of Governors and serves as the Associate VP of Education (2014-).  He was awarded a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Accelerator Supplements Award in 2015.

Philippe Babin


Philippe Babin, CEO of AEPONYX, has over 27 years of experience in product and market development in the telecommunication field. He co-founded AEPONYX Inc and leads the company, having raised to date over forty million dollars in equity and non-dilutive financing. With his team, he develops and brings to market photonic integrated circuits and products for a broad range of applications.

Philippe holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA in Business Administration from the University of Sherbrooke. Mr. Babin began his career in 1994 with C-Mac Microcircuits Inc. as a Process Engineer and subsequently, he held various management positions, including Director of Substrates Manufacturing, contributing to the 600% growth in revenues of one the most profitable business units of the EMS division, delivering millions of telecom products per year.

Philippe Babin joined Mediatrix Telecom, a division of Media5 Corporation, in 2001 as Head of Research and Development. Within this company, he successively head Product Line Management, Sales Engineering, Sales and Marketing, for finally being appointed as General Manager, where he operated a complete business turnarounds. Before joining AEPONYX, Mr Babin started in 2012 his own sales and marketing agency in the field of telecommunications and IT.

Vallen Rezazadeh

Founder and CEO
TransEON Inc.

Vallen Rezazadeh is the founder and CEO of TransEON Inc., an Edmonton startup developing next-generation wide-bandgap semiconductor technology for wireless applications in the telecom, defence, and space industries. He received the B.Sc. degree in engineering physics and the M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering with a specialization in solid-state electronics from the University of Alberta. Prior to founding TransEON, he oversaw in-line test and electrical metrology operations for IBM Research at their 300mm fab in Albany, NY, USA, where he was involved in the development of advanced processes including 5nm CMOS and MRAM.

Volker Sorger

President and Co-Founder
Optelligence Company

Volker J. Sorger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Director of the Devices & Intelligent Systems Laboratory at the George Washington University. Dr. Sorger is a co-founder and the President of Optelligence Company. For his work, Dr. Sorger received multiple awards including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the AFOSR Young Investigator Award (YIP), the Hegarty Innovation Prize, and the National Academy of Sciences Award of the year. He is a Fellow of Optica (former OSA), a Fellow of the German National Academic Foundation, and a Senior Member of IEEE and SPIE. Dr. Sorger serves as an Associate Editor for OPTICA and was the former Editor-in-Chief of Nanophotonics.