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Michael Cumbo appointed to lead US AIM Photonics

19 Jun 2020

New York welcomes home Rochester native to lead $600 million photonics hub based in Albany.

Michael J. Cumbo, a veteran photonics industry leader, will next month take the reins at AIM Photonics, the U.S.-Defense Department’s $600 million photonics hub based in Albany, N.Y., as Chief Executive Officer, effective July 6.

Cumbo succeeds Michael Liehr as head of AIM Photonics, which is the leading US photonic integrated chip manufacturing institute. The announcement was made this week by NY CREATES, a New York State office that promotes investment to expand high technology jobs. AIM also promotes workforce innovations.

AIM Photonics, officially the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics, is marking its fifth anniversary year since it was launched by the Defense Department (DoD), now with 120 industry and academic partners. Its members work in fields such as data communications, sensors, quantum and neuromorphic computing.

AIM offers a Process Design Kit, Multi Project Wafer and Test, Assembly and Packaging services, which include a comprehensive set of silicon PIC devices designed to enable the implementation of next-generation products.

Open access

AIM has created what it calls the world’s first open-access complete Integrated Photonic manufacturing ecosystem, which provides the photonic community and DoD access to a full suite of advanced technology, capabilities, and resources throughout the product development cycle.

Dr. Douglas Grose, President of NY CREATES, said, “Mike brings valuable experience to AIM Photonics as a results oriented, customer-centric technology business leader, in addition to his proven ability to move technology and teams from lab to fab, and transforming new technologies into profitable businesses.”

Prior to his new role, Cumbo was Vice President of Optics for ZYGO Corporation, a unit of AMETEK, which designs, develops and produces complex electro-optical systems and high-precision optical components for the Medical/Life Sciences, Defense & Aerospace, Semiconductor, and Industrial OEM markets. He had full P&L responsibility and drove significant improvements in the business during his tenure.

He is the Founder and Chairman of Sandia Electro-Optics Corporation (SE-OC), Albuquerque, New Mexico, an employee-owned enterprise devoted to the incubation of innovative measurement instruments in the life science and environmental sensing market segments.

Previously, Cumbo spent 30 years managing various levels of photonic technology development across the globe, most recently as President of IDEX Optics & Photonics. He also spent time as a key advisor and expert supporting improvement programs for a number of venture capital startups.

Dr. Cumbo holds a Ph.D. in Optics, an M.S. in Optical Engineering, and a B.S. in Physics from the University of Rochester, as well as an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology. He has 11 patents, and authored 22 technical journal papers and conference proceeding articles.

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