Meet the Leadership

Robert A. Norwood, PhD, Professor, College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

Robert A. Norwood, PhD CTO & Founder

Dr. Robert Norwood has an illustrious career in academia and industry. He has been a full professor in the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona since 2009. Since joining the University in 2004, Bob has been a principal investigator (or co-PI) on programs that have garnered over $100M.  Government sponsors include AFOSR, ARO, ARPA-E, DARPA, DHS, DOE, NSF, and ONR. Private sponsors include Intel, Canon, Raytheon/Raytheon Missile Systems, L-3 Communications, Sharp Laboratories of America, and the Science Foundation of Arizona.

Prior to the U of A, Bob was a co-founder of the venture-backed company Photon-X. His startup pioneered a low power consumption optical amplifier, which the US Navy adopted for airborne applications. At Allied Signal, he was General Manager of its telecom photonics business unit; he led the sale of the BU, realizing a 500% ROI.

Bob is the author of 39 patents and has published over 170 papers as well as 7 book chapters. He is a Fellow of the OSA and SPIE.  

His PhD in physics is from the University of Pennsylvania; his BS degrees in physics and math are from MIT. 

Jay Liebowitz, photonics entrepreneur,

Jay Liebowitz, CEO

  Jay Liebowitz is distinguished at positioning photonic startups and turnarounds for success. These companies have been innovators in lasers, LiDAR, communications, and advanced manufacturing, and they have been located in the US, Europe, and Asia. 

Jay has helped them grow, raise valuations and capital, and realize attractive exits. He excels at strategy and hands-on execution, based on superb skills in analysis as well as in communication, negotiation, and closing. Jay has been involved in a senior role in 12 corporate events worth more than $1.5 billion. Recent positions that Jay has held include:


Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Princeton Lightwave 

(acquired by Argo AI)

 VP of Marketing and Sales, TeraDiode 

(acquired by Panasonic Welding)

VP of Business Development, Vescent Photonics 

(acquired by Analog Devices) 

Executive Vice President, Teem Photonics

As Managing Director of Advisory Services for optical components at RHK, Jay had a senior role in multiple transactions, including the acquisition of Sensors Unlimited by Finisar and a private placement in Indigo Systems (acquired by FLIR).

 Jay’s degrees include a BS in physics from MIT and an MBA from Wharton. He holds one US patent, in the field of laser material processing.