Bifano to lead BU Photonics Center

Oct. 9, 2006 — Boston University 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.

As 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 in a prepared statement. “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.”

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.

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 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.

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.


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