Company

Freedom Photonics is an employee-owned limited-liability company, based in Santa Barbara, California. The company was founded in 2005, with a vision to commercialize photonic integrated circuit and advanced laser technology and has experienced continuous growth since. We specialize in unique and innovative photonic components, modules and subsystems for a variety of applications spanning sensing, fiber-optic and free-space optical (analog and digital) communications. Our world-class technical team has a wealth of experience in successful design, development and volume manufacturing of semiconductor lasers, photodetectors and high-functionality, high performance photonic IC based products. Besides our standard off-the-shelf products, we have a number of private label and white label products for particular customers and applications.

Dr. Milan L. Mashanovitch

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Mashanovitch is a Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Freedom Photonics.

Dr. Mashanovitch has 20 years of experience working in the field of photonics, spanning over design, fabrication, testing and packaging of photonic integrated circuits, combined with 10 years of management and business development experience.

Prior to Freedom Photonics, Dr. Mashanovitch has worked at the University of California Santa Barbara as a Scientist, on photonic integrated circuits in Indium Phosphide, as well as an Adjunct Professor teaching graduate level classes on semiconductor lasers and photonic ICs.

Dr. Mashanovitch has co-authored ~ 150 papers, many invited, on photonic integrated circuits and various photonic devices. He holds 9 patents, and has co-authored the second edition of the “Diode Lasers and Photonic Integrated Circuits” textbook. He is very active in the photonics technical community, participating on technical committees of many conferences. He is a Senior Member of IEEE.

Dr. Mashanovitch holds a dipl. ing. Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Belgrade in Serbia, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California in Santa Barbara.

Dr. Leif A. Johansson

President and Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Johansson is a Co-Founder, President and Chief Technology Officer of Freedom Photonics.

Dr. Johansson has 20 years of experience related to photonic integrated circuits, widely tunable lasers, radio-frequency photonics, analog optical communications, radio over fiber systems and coherent optical communications. This work has resulted in a number of novel concepts and record results in the area of RF and coherent photonic ICs.Before Freedom Photonics, Dr. Johansson has been involved in the development of RF photonic devices and subsystems at University of California, Santa Barbara and at Agility Communications (now Lumentum).

Leif has authored or co-authored over 220 publications in the areas of RF photonics and photonic integrated circuits, and has given numerous invited and contributed talks at various international conferences. He has chaired, serves or has served on technical committees for IEEE Microwave Photonics Conference, Optical Fiber Communications Conference, IEEE Photonics Conference.

Dr. Johansson has received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University College London, UK.

Dr. Daniel Renner

Chief Business Development Officer and Chairman of the Board

Dr. Renner is Chief Business Development Officer at Freedom Photonics, responsible for the identification of new business areas, definition of new products and programs and the successful introduction of these products into the market. Freedom Photonics has developed innovative photonic technologies leading to products in the Telecommunications, Satcom, Avionics and Medical markets.

Dr. Renner has over 25 years of experience in the development, manufacturing and commercialization of complex photonic devices and systems. His experience spans both the technical and the commercial aspects of photonic products, having led activities in many areas, including technology and product development, identification of new business areas, introduction of new products, marketing and sales. These activities have contributed to many successful businesses. Prior to joining Freedom Photonics, Dr. Renner held positions of increasing technical and business responsibility at Standard Telecommunication Labs., Rockwell International, Ortel Corporation, Agility Communications and Aerius Photonics/FLIR EOC. At these companies, Dr. Renner was responsible for a wide range of commercially successful photonic products such as highly reliable semiconductor lasers for high speed transmission, CATV fiber-optic transmitters and receivers, analog fiber-optic links for antenna remoting, 1550 nm widely-tunable semiconductor laser transmitters and large high power 2-D VCSEL arrays.

Dr. Renner has received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge where he worked on the design and characterization of semiconductor lasers, including mode and spectral control of these devices.

Dr. Gordon B. Morrison

Vice President of Engineering

Dr. Morrison is the Vice President of Engineering at Freedom Photonics. He has more than 20 years of experience in the design and engineering of various photonic devices, including DFB lasers, tunable lasers and externally modulated DFB lasers. In addition, he has been responsible for production, testing and qualification of semiconductor laser products according to Telcordia Standards (GR 468, 63).

Before joining Freedom Photonics, he spent a number of years in various senior engineering and manufacturing roles at Avago Technologies and Cyoptics where he was responsible for improvements to the design, reliability, and manufacturability of DFB lasers and external cavity tunable lasers. Prior to that, he has worked at Apogee Photonics, where he worked on the externally modulated laser product, and contributed to wafer level process development and life-time aging analysis and qualification of semiconductor optical components.

Dr. Morrison has received his Ph.D. from McMaster University in Canada.

Kenneth A. Hay

Vice President of Manufacturing

Mr. Hay is the Vice President of Manufacturing at Freedom Photonics. He is responsible for manufacturing assembly and test, new product insertion and photodetector product development. He is also responsible for maintaining quality standards related to Company’s ISO 9001:2015 certification.

Mr. Hay has over 30 years of experience in the engineering, product development and manufacturing of various infrared and photonic devices, including photodetectors, focal plane arrays and infrared cameras. Before joining Freedom Photonics, he managed both the development and manufacturing of packaged microbolometer focal plane arrays as CTO at Infraredvision Technology Corporation (ITC), which was later acquired by L3 Communications. Prior to ITC, Ken was at Raytheon-Amber, where he worked on the MWIR and LWIR high-performance imaging arrays for camera product. Over his full career, he has accumulated extensive experience in various aspects of materials and device development of II-VI and III-IV infrared detectors and arrays.

Mr. Hay has received his master’s degree in electro-optical components from University of California, Irvine, and his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from University of California Santa Barbara.

Dr. Paul O. Leisher

Vice President of Research

Dr. Leisher is Vice President of Research for Freedom Photonics, LLC in Santa Barbara, CA.  Prior to joining Freedom Photonics, Dr. Leisher was Chief Engineer for Diode Lasers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, CA) where he served as the principal subject matter expert for high power diode laser technology and led the diode group in support of several research and development programs. From 2011-2017, Dr. Leisher served as Associate Professor of Physics and Optical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, Indiana) and as the Manager of Advanced Technology at nLight Corporation (Vancouver, Washington) from 2007-2011.

Dr. Leisher’s research interests include the design, fabrication, characterization, and analysis of high power semiconductor lasers and other photonic devices.  He has authored over 230 technical journal articles and conference presentations and served as the principal investigator on approximately 50 funded research projects in the area of photonics and semiconductor laser technology.  He has served on the technical committee of many conferences including IEEE Photonics Conference, IEEE International Semiconductor Laser Conference, IEEE High Power Diode Lasers & Systems Conference, and OSA International Optical Design Conference.  He is the co-chair of the SPIE Components and Packaging for Laser Systems Conference and is the program track chair for the SPIE LASE Symposium Nonlinear Optics and Beam Guiding conferences.  Dr. Leisher is a senior member of both SPIE and IEEE.

Paul has received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Bradley University (Peoria, Illinois) in 2002, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004 and 2007, respectively.