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  • OFC/NFOEC 2006 Builds on Last Year's Success
Dec 2005
ANAHEIM, Calif., Dec. 28 -- Representatives from all areas of the optics industry will gather in March 2006 for the second annual OFC/NFOEC to exchange ideas with colleagues, hear the latest industry research, learn new skills and techniques and see live demonstrations of the latest products.
   In March 2005, the first combined OFC/NFOEC (Optical Fiber Communication/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference) debuted to a crowded exhibition and strong technical sessions, and this year is expected to meet and even exceed that achievement. The 2006 conference will be held from March 5–10 at the convention center in Anaheim. The 2006 conference will feature more than 550 exhibitors, 120 technical sessions, 100 presenters, more than 40 short courses, 16 interactive workshops and a plenary session with two keynote speakers.
   The plenary session will be held on Tuesday, March 7 at 9 a.m. and will feature Applied Minds Inc.'s Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Bran Ferren, who will speak from experience on the art and science of the imagination and how to organize for innovation. Ferren has worked in aerospace and other sciences, won three Academy Awards for technical achievement and was president of Walt Disney Imagineering. His current company, Applied Minds, provides technology, design and consulting services to clients including The Walt Disney Company, NASA and GM.
   The second keynote speaker, William L. Smith, chief technology officer at BellSouth Corp., will discuss his company's response to Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast in August. As chief technology officer, Smith's department includes network and operations technology, Internet protocol applications, next-generation strategy as well as BellSouth Entertainment LLC. Smith will provide a summary of BellSouth's efforts to restore service after the hurricane, as well as any new lessons learned from the unique challenges it presented.
   As part of the plenary session on Tuesday, The John Tyndall Award for 2006 and the IEEE Photonics Award for 2005 will be presented. The John Tyndall Award, endowed by Corning Inc., is named for the 19th century scientist who was the first to demonstrate the phenomenon of internal reflection. It recognizes an individual who has made "pioneering, highly significant or continuing technical or leadership contributions to fiber optics technology."
   The 2006 recipient is Donald R. Scifres, for his contributions to semiconductor laser diode technology that power optical fiber networks. Scifres has studied semiconductor lasers and integrated optics since 1972 and co-founded SDL Inc. in 1983, serving as its CEO, president and board chairman until the company merged with optical components supplier JDS Uniphase Corp. in 2001. He has since founded SDL Ventures LLC, a firm focusing on early stage investments in the lasers, photonics, fiber optics and microwave communications and biotech fields.
   Sponsored by IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society, the IEEE Photonics Award is presented for outstanding achievements in photonics to an individual or a team of not more than three. The 2005 IEEE Photonics Award will be presented to Frederick J. Leonberger for technical leadership, commercialization and practical deployment of photonic component technologies for optical communications. Leonberger, currently the principal of EOvation Technologies LLC, a technology advisory firm he founded in July 2003, also served as chief technology officer at JDS Uniphase Corp.
   OFC/NFOEC 2006 will also feature invited speakers talking on subjects ranging from reducing losses in photonic crystal fibers and recent progress in quantum dot optical amplifiers and lasers to high-resolution control of the optical phase for code-empowered networking.
   New for 2006 is the fact that the Service Provider Summit is open to all conference and exhibit-only attendees. Join your colleagues for this dynamic program with topics and speakers of interest to CTOs, network architects, network designers and technologists within the service provider and carrier sector. The program includes panel discussions, keynote presentations, exhibit time and networking time.
   Also free to all conference and exhibit-only attendees is Market Watch, a three-day (March 7-9) series of panel sessions designed to engage the applications and business communities in the field of optical communications. Presentations and panel discussions feature guest speakers from industry, research and the investment community. A special session is also featured on Thursday which will highlight video over IP.
   OFC/NFOEC is managed by the Optical Society of America (OSA) and co-sponsored by the OSA, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (IEEE LEOS) and the IEEE Communications Society. Telcordia Technologies is the technical co-sponsor. For more information, visit:

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