Before starting Optical Engines, our President and CEO Don Sipes was a founding member of the Optical Communications Group at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He was placed in charge of several systems study programs, most notably the optical communications platform and downlink from a roving platform on Mars for the Mars Sample Return Mission. While at JPL, Don was the first to successfully achieve high efficiency TEM00 output from a diode-pumped solid state laser, with over one order of magnitude improvement in wall plug efficiency. He left JPL to help start Amoco Laser Company (now Scientific Atlanta/Cisco) as Vice President of Technology, to develop and manufacture low noise, high power fiber amplifiers and Fiber Optic Access Networks which are extensively deployed throughout the world.
Jason Tafoya, our Director of Engineering, brings over a decade of experience in fiber device and fiber laser research and development through work at the University of NM and Kiara. Jason has been the key person on our team in the development of the fiber combiners, mode adapters, and fiber amplifiers and fiber laser systems, developing and improving the processes through multiple iterations and has an amazing talent for bringing together the theoretical with the practical.
Dan Schulz is our Director of Operations, and started off at the University of Illinois, where he studied Nuclear Engineering specializing in laser fusion technology. He joined the Optical Engines team in 2007, and became the resident modelling engineer using ZEMAX OpticStudio in conjunction with SolidWorks to refine and optimize our designs. Dan has also used these skills to improve and build fiber combiners and advanced mode adapter components. He now oversees all production and R&D operations including inquiries, design and planning, builds, shipment, and service.
Scott Cannon is the Sales and Marketing Director, overseeing domestic and international sales efforts. He partnered with the Optical Engines team starting in 2015 as Sakar Technology and joined officially in early 2021.
The rest of the valued team all bring their outstanding skills and experience to everything we do. They work closely with our worldwide network of partners and collaborators to bring our very best towards supplying innovative solutions for our customers’ needs.