Featured Speakers

IONS Tucson will have several featured speakers throughout the conference schedule. Below are short bios of our esteemed presenters.



Jennifer Kehlet Barton, Ph.D. is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Arizona. She serves as Interim Director of the BIO5 Institute, a collaborative research institute dedicated to solving complex biology-based problems affecting humanity. Her past experience includes serving as founding Department Head of Biomedical Engineering, Associate and Interim Vice President for Research, and as an engineer at McDonnell Douglas Aerospace. Her current research focuses on development of miniature multi-modality optical endoscopes for early detection of cancer, including instrumentation design, pre-clinical experiments, and translation to human pilot clinical studies.

Presentation time:  Friday (after lunch)


Scott McEldowney, Ph.D. is the lead optics researcher for Oculus Research in Scott M_5194T (2)
Redmond, WA.  He leads a team of researchers conducting advanced research in near to eye display and advanced imaging systems.  Prior to that, Scott was a Principal Optical Engineer for Microsoft incubating new hardware technologies which included the development of the optical Hololens and Kinect.  Prior to Microsoft, Scott worked for 18 years in the Advanced Optical Technology division of JDSU developing optical components and systems for consumer electronics, medical instrumentation, and aerospace.  Scott holds a MS degree in Mechanical Engineering and PhD in Optical Sciences from the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona.

Presentation Time: Monday, 2PM



Volker J. Sorger is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the director of the Orthogonal Physics Enabled Nanophotonics (OPEN) lab at the George Washington University. He received his PhD from the University of California Berkeley. His research areas include opto-electronic devices, plasmonics and nanophotonics, including novel materials. Amongst his breakthroughs are the first demonstration of a plasmon laser (Nature 2009), Semiconductor plasmon laser (Nature Mat.) sub-wavelength scale waveguides (Nature Photonics, 2008; Nature Communication, 2011) and Transparent Conductive Oxides electro-optic modulation (Nanophotonics, 2012; Laser Photonics Reviews, 2015). Dr. Sorger received multiple awards among are the Intel graduate award 2007, SPIE BACUS scholarship 2009, MRS Gold award 2011, AFOSR Young Investigator award 2014, and Dean’s Outstanding Young researcher award at GWU 2016. Dr. Sorger is the OSA executive co-chair for technical group development, and member of the Board-of-Meetings at OSA and SPIE. He is the editor-in-chief for the journal ‘Nanophotonics’, CTO of BitGrid LLC, and member of IEEE, OSA, SPIE, and MRS. He is the founder of the photonic-materials subcommittee at the Integrated Photonics Research conference, and served on a task force of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI).

Presentation Time: Monday (after lunch)



Dae Wook Kim, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona. He graduated in Physics and Astronomy from Yonsei University, South Korea, and earned his Master’s and PhD degrees at the College of Optical Sciences. His work has focused on very large astronomical optics such as 25m in diameter Giant Magellan Telescope primary mirror, 8.4m Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and 4.2m Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope primary mirror. His main research topics include freeform/aspheric optics fabrication and testing such as computer controlled optical surfacing, non-Newtonian figuring tool, interferometric test using computer generated holograms, direct curvature measurement and deflectometry metrology  systems. He is currently a chair/co-chair of the International Symposium on Optical Engineering + Applications, Optical Manufacturing and Testing (SPIE), the International Symposium on Optoelectronic Technology and Application, Telescopes and Large Optics (SPIE, OSA and Chinese Society of Astronautics), and the Topical Meeting on Optical Fabrication and Testing of the Optical Society of America (OSA). He is a Guest Editor for Optical Engineering journal (SPIE) and an Associate Editor for Optics Express journal (OSA).

Presentation Time: Friday (during dinner)