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Bifano Gets Permanent Post to Direct BU Photonics Center
Oct 2006
BOSTON, Oct. 6, 2006 -- Boston University yesterday announced that Thomas Bifano, a professor in its College of Engineering, has been named director of the Boston University Photonics Center. Bifano has served as the center’s interim director since January, when founding director Donald Fraser retired.

Bifano.jpgAs director, Bifano said he plans to further strengthen the center’s position as an educational resource for BU students and researchers and as a national center of excellence in photonics scholarship.

“My focus will be on integrating the four missions of the Photonics Center: academic scholarship, commercial incubation, defense and government-sponsored photonics technology development, and education for Boston University students,” said Bifano. “I will work toward creating a shared vision and mutual support among these missions, with the goal of enhancing our reputation in this exciting field.”

“Dr. Bifano brings an invaluable combination of academic, research and industry experience to the Photonics Center, making him a perfect fit for the directorship,” said BU Provost David Campbell. “President Brown and I are thrilled that he has accepted the position and we are confident he will continue to successfully lead the center toward its goals.”

University commitments to academic scholarship in photonics include supported purchase and maintenance of shared facilities, such as an optical fiber draw tower, an optical processing facility, a sophisticated optical metrology laboratory and an integrated optoelectronics packaging laboratory.

“Students benefit from the mentorship provided by faculty members who are leaders in their fields, hands-on experience with state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, and the opportunity to work collaboratively on the research and development of new photonics technologies,” said Bifano.

In addition to his position at the Photonics Center, Bifano is a professor (and past department chair) in the Manufacturing Engineering Department and in the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department. His research focuses on the design and manufacturing of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) for optical applications and, with his students, he recently engineered a new class of deformable mirror systems that improve resolution in advanced telescopes, microscopes and ophthalmoscopes. He is also a faculty member at the Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation in Brookline, Mass.

Bifano joined BU in 1988 after earning a PhD in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University. He received MS and BS degrees in mechanical engineering and materials science from Duke University.

The BU Photonics Center develops advanced prototype photonic systems for commercial and defense applications. Research conducted at the center includes blue light laser materials, quantum cryptography, subsurface imaging, adaptive optics, micro-optoelectromechanical systems (MOEMS), high-speed photodetectors, nanophotonic devices and biophotonic sensing.

For more information, visit:

The science of measurement, particularly of lengths and angles.
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
Boston UniversityBUdefenseFraserindustrialMEMSmetrologymicro-optoelectromechanicalMicroscopyMOEMSNews & FeaturesphotonicsPhotonics CenterSensors & DetectorsThomas Bifanolasers

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