Building Inclusive Organizations: Women in Photonics

Date & Time: Tuesday 25 September, 09:00 – 10:30

Room: Iustina

Building Inclusive Organizations: Women in Photonics

We’ve all seen the statistics: diverse and inclusive teams make better decisions and yield better financial results. Yet as we see increasing numbers of women in STEM field more broadly, women still comprise less than ~10% of the overall photonics workforce in many parts of Europe.
At this panel, senior women leaders in photonics will share career experiences, perspectives on the current state of diversity in our industry, and offer ideas on steps that we can all take to build more diverse, inclusive organizations. This moderated panel will include time for Q&A from the audience, and we invite women and men to join and participate in the conversation.


Alexis Björlin Corporate Vice President/General Manager Connectivity Group, Intel Corporation, USA
Alexis B. Björlin is a corporate vice president of the Data Center Group (DCG) and general manager of the DCG Connectivity Group at Intel Corporation. She is responsible for leading Intel’s data center Connectivity business, providing differentiated end-to-end data center networking connectivity solutions including Intel® Ethernet controllers, Intel® Omni-Path fabric controller and switch, and Intel® Silicon Photonics modules.
Before joining Intel, Björlin served as president of Source Photonics, where she was responsible for global business, product development, operations, and the P&L—growing the business from $30M to over $250M in revenue. She was also a member of Source Photonics board of directors. Prior to Source Photonics, Björlin served as chief optical architect for Zaffire, Inc, a venture-backed DWDM Metropolitan Networks company.
Björlin holds a bachelor of science in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in materials science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Keren Bergman Charles Batchelor Professor of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University, USA
Keren Bergman is the Charles Batchelor Professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University where she also serves as the Faculty Director of the Columbia Nano Initiative. Prof. Bergman received her Ph.D. from M.I.T. She joined Columbia in 2002, where she leads the Lightwave Research Laboratory encompassing multiple cross-disciplinary programs at the intersection of computing and photonics. Bergman serves on the Leadership Council of the American Institute of Manufacturing (AIM) Photonics leading projects that support the institute’s silicon photonics manufacturing capabilities and Datacom applications. She is the recipient of the 2016 IEEE Photonics Engineering Award, a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and a Fellow of IEEE.

Julie Eng Executive Vice President and General Manager, 3D Sensing, Finisar, USA
Julie Sheridan Eng is Executive Vice President and General Manager of 3D Sensing. She has held various senior management positions within Finisar’s engineering organization since joining the company in 2003, most recently as EVP of Datacom Engineering. Prior to joining Finisar, Dr. Eng was part of AT&T/Lucent/Agere. She holds a B.A. degree summa cum laude in Physics from Bryn Mawr College and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering with honors from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). She earned M. S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. She has published over a dozen papers and holds seven patents.

Ling Liao Senior Principal Engineer, Intel Corporation, USA
Ling Liao is a Senior Principal Engineer in Intel’s Silicon Photonics Product Division. She joined Intel in 1997 and is a pioneer in silicon high speed modulation and silicon photonic integration. Her work helped establish Intel as a premier leader in Silicon Photonics (SiPh), and she played a big part in transforming SiPh from being a niche technical interest 17 years ago to the now key enabling technology that is revolutionizing data center connectivity. Ling currently leads the development of SiPh transceiver engines to enable integrated optical I/O.
Ling holds eight patents and authored four book chapters and over 50 published papers. She is the recipient of numerous Intel and industry awards including the 2004 and 2017 Intel Achievement Awards, 2006 MIT Technology Review Innovator Under 35 Award, and 2014 Optical Society Paul F. Forman Engineering Excellence Team Award.
Ling earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and PhD degree in electrical engineering from the University of Surrey, England.

Hong Liu Distinguished Engineer, Google, USA
Hong Liu is a Distinguished Engineer at Google Technical Infrastructure, where she is involved in the system architecture and optical solutions for large scale data centers. Prior to joining Google, Hong was a Member of Technical Staff at Juniper Networks. Hong received her Ph.D in electrical engineering from Stanford University and, is an OSA Fellow.

Alicia Remus Bell Labs Procurement Director, Nokia, USA
Alicia has more than 20 years of professional experience in different technical and procurement roles held in AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent and now Nokia.
Alicia’s current role as Bell Labs Director, was designed and implemented by her 7 years ago, and has continuously evolved to address the unique innovation and technology incubation requirements of this prestigious research organization of roughly 1,000 researchers.
Aside, Alicia has been spearheading development of local ecosystems within the NJ/NYC area.
Previous roles include head of Optical Component Commercial and Technical Procurement, commodity and supplier management, Design for Cost (DFx) analytics, New Product Introduction (NPI) Engineering and Industrial Engineering.
Alicia holds a BS in Industrial Engineering, a finance degree and a MBA.

Katharine Schmidtke Technology Strategist, Facebook, USA
Dr. Katharine Schmidtke is responsible for technology strategy at Facebook. She obtained a Ph.D. in non-linear optics from Southampton University, UK and completed post-doctoral research at Stanford University. She has over 20 years’ experience in the Opto-Electronics industry including positions at Finisar Corporation, JDSU (now Lumentum), and New Focus.