PME Industry Seminar Series - Dr. Kamran Forghani

Friday, October 15, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm
Dr. Kamran Forghani, Technical Lead at Novinoor LLC
The Lab-To-Fab Journey with Atoms: R&D at the Intersection of Academia and Industry

In this talk, the Lab-to-Fab-to-Market journey is discussed with some specific examples mainly from the multi-disciplinary fields of semiconductor materials and opto-electronics devices. That also involves briefly discussing the following topics:
• Working in an R&D position in a hard-tech startup or small business as opposed to academia or a major corporation.
• The typical misconceptions and challenges when it comes to commercializing a lab-developed technology
• How and when to get your technologies out of the lab/university?
• What skills to pack in your “toolbox” to be successful when leaving the university?
• How to fund it for free?

The technical aspect of this presentation will focus on the most efficient blue/UV LEDs and solar cells ever created. We present how engineering atoms in a bottom-up approach can boost the performance of such an opto-electronic device. Furthermore, the application of such revolutionary devices will be discussed in the fields of solid-state lighting and telecom, and space exploration will be discussed. It will be discussed how engineering such novel materials at atomistic scale will not only have huge scientific or economic impact but also societal impact.

Kamran Forghani received his Ph.D. (Dr.-Ing.) from the Institute of Opto-Electronics at the University of Ulm in Germany (2012). He also graduated from the interdisciplinary M.Sc. program in Advanced Materials (Nano-Materials) from the University of Ulm, after receiving his B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Science and Technology in Tehran. He served as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) through a joint position at the departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE), Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Dr. Forghani’s interdisciplinary research interests include (but not limited to) defects management in semiconductors, novel epitaxial growth, and processing methods to realize next-generation (opto-)electronics devices such as LEDs, lasers, solar cells, transistors, and sensing devices. Currently, he is the Technical Lead at Novinoor LLC; a company focused on commercializing novel 3D sensing solutions for enhanced autonomy and decision making in various platforms. He also holds a research position (part-time) at Northwestern University. Prior to his current role, he was a senior member of the R&D and Production groups at MicroLink Devices, Inc., contributing to the programs related to high efficiency flexible solar cell arrays for UAVs, satellites, and future space exploration missions. He is also the founder of NanoSystems Laboratory LLC, a startup dedicated to marrying the lab-grown Diamond technology developed at Argonne National Lab with emerging GaN semiconductor technology to realize to the most efficient power conversion systems for defense, renewable energy, and e-mobility market sectors. Dr. Forghani is also an educator, and on occasions volunteers to communicated complex cutting edge research concepts to K12 students, to share the joy of learning with the public, and maybe inspiring more students to choose a career path focused on creating the next-gen solutions, especially those from underrepresented groups. He is also an active member of Small Business Science and Technology (SBTC) of the National Small Business Association (NSBA), advocating for American deep-tech startups. He has served on numerous R&D projects as the PI or scientist with funding from NASA and DOE, and DOD.
Felix Lu, Director of Corporate Engagement
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