Chad Husko, Ph.D.

Project: Integrated hybrid silicon lasers

Chad is a scientist turned entrepreneur, and the Founder/CEO of Iris Light Technologies, Inc. The Iris mission is to solve ‘the silicon laser problem’ holding back the rapidly growing silicon photonics (light chip) industry ($1 billion in 2019 @ 44% CAGR). Iris’s laser technology enables applications in optical communications in data centers, sensors, and biophotonics. Iris is supported by the Chain Reaction Innovations program based at Argonne National Lab (Chicago, IL).

At Iris, Chad incorporates international experience from a wide variety of environments and cultures ranging from universities, government labs, and industrial companies in the USA, Australia, and the Netherlands. While a Fulbright Scholar, he was a researcher in the industrial R&D lab of Thales in Paris, France. In these roles, Chad has successfully built teams, raised over $1M in funding, and managed programs resulting in 30+ publications, 4 patents, and presentations to diverse audiences ranging from business professionals to technical professionals to grade schools.

Chad actively promotes the optics and photonics industries through professional service and public outreach. His recent contributions include serving in the inaugural class of Optical Society (OSA) ‘Ambassadors’ in 2016, as chair of several OSA award committees, and the Traveling Lecturer program. In 2017, he was selected as an OSA Senior Member in recognition of his professional contributions.

Chad holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Applied Physics from Columbia University (New York, USA), and B.S. degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Loyola University Chicago. Chad’s love of languages led him to complete an M.A. and B.A. in Spanish from New York University and Loyola alongside his technical studies.

When he’s not wearing the many hats of a start-up CEO, Chad can be found sailing Lake Michigan.