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Sensing & Measurement

Video: Asian experience leads entrepreneur to new ventures

A diverse background in technologies and cultures has prepared Laura Smoliar for just about anything.
23 November 2011, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201111.03

Laura Smoliar is CEO of Peppertree Engineering, an engineering design firm based in Silicon Valley.

From 2005-2009, as Chairman and CEO of Mobius Photonics, Smoliar built a corporate team, established key customer relationships in Europe and Asia, successfully raised angel and strategic financing from the U.S. and Japan, and established a strong intellectual property position based on the company's breakthrough light technology. In July 2009, she resigned from Mobius Photonics to pursue other interests.

She received her PhD from UC Berkeley in 1995. Beginning her career in data storage at Seagate Technology, she later worked on MEMS-based laser displays at Silicon Light Machines (acquired by Cypress Semiconductor), and then migrated to solid-state lasers at Lightwave Electronics (acquired by JDSU). She has extensive experience partnering with Japanese companies such as Sony, Hitachi, Disco, and Panasonic, and she has lived and worked in both Taiwan and Germany. She is an advisor to Signal Lake Venture Capital.

Since 1997, she has served as a mentor with the Association of Women in Science Palo Alto Chapter. She was featured in the 2011 SPIE Women in Optics planner. She was interviewed for SPIE Newsroom in August 2011.