Donn Silberman began his work in optics in 1976 when as a high school senior he was an astronomy student technician, operating a small planetarium, maintaining the class telescopes and he built his own 8" F/8 Newtonian. Donn attended the University of Arizona to study Astronomy, worked at the Flandreau Planetarium and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics (Honors in Physics). Donn also worked at the Optical Sciences Center and taught undergraduate physics labs and was the Society of Physics Students President from 1981 - 1983 and Councilor from 1983 - 1984. In 1994, Donn received a Master of Science degree in Technology Management from Pepperdine University.
Donn has over 35 years of management and technical experience in various optics and precision motion based businesses. He has worked in product management, including conceptualizing; research and development, quality assurance, product manufacturing, marketing, sales and technical services.
Donn has been a Senior R&D Optical Engineer for Johnson & Johnson’s IOLAB Corporation in Claremont, California; Operations Manager, Micro-Optics, for Corning Incorporated’s Advanced Photonics Technologies group in Garden Grove, California; and Engineering Systems Manager at RAM Optical - Newport Corporation in Irvine, California.
Donn has been a volunteer board member with the OSSC, for many years was President in 2007-2008 and inducted as a Fellow in 2010. He is the Founding Director of The Optics Institute of Southern California which focuses on optics education outreach.
In 2009, Donn founded the UC Irvine Optical Engineering and Instrument Design Certificate programs, as the Advisory Committee Chair. In November 2012, he received the Dean's Outstanding Service Award for his efforts with these programs.
In December 2012, Donn was the 2012-2013 Univ. of Arizona Honor's College Advocate for Education Award Winner and gave the Keynote Address at their Pre-commencement ceremony.