Andreas “Andy” Bechtolsheim

Co-Founder and Chief Architect of Arista Networks

Previously, Andy was a Co-Founder and Chief System Architect at Sun Microsystems, responsible for next generation server, storage, and network architectures.

As a private venture investor, Andy has been involved in the funding of numerous companies including Google, VMware, Mellanox, and Brocade. He has served on the Board of Directors of over 25 companies, the majority of which went public or were acquired.

Andy earned a M.S. in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1976 and was a doctoral student in Computer Engineering at Stanford University from 1977 to 1982.

He has been honored with a Fulbright scholarship, a Studienstiftung scholarship, the Stanford Entrepreneur Company of the year award, the Smithsonian Leadership Award for Innovation, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Thomas van Briel

SVP Architecture and Strategy Deutsche Telekom Technik GmbH

At the core of Thomas’ career is driving transformation of technology, business and organization, building on experience from a broad range of roles within telecommunications. He is holding master degrees in computer science and business administration. Thomas started his career in software development with Nortel and Swisscom, followed by an executive leadership of project and investment controlling. Since 2010, he holds executive
leadership roles in IT and NT strategy and architecture. He joined DT end of 2016 as a dual citizen to establish and lead today’s DT Technik architecture and strategy team.

He is currently responsible for network and service architecture Germany (fixed & mobile access, core & transport network, service platforms), OSS architecture as well as network automation (DT group level).

Roel Baets

Emeritus Professor at Ghent University and former Group Leader at IMEC

Roel received MSc degrees in Electrical Engineering both from UGent and from Stanford University. He received a PhD degree from UGent in 1984. From 1984 till 1989 he held a postdoctoral position at IMEC. Since 1989 he has been a professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture of UGent where he founded the Photonics Research Group. He has also held part-time professor positions at Delft University of Technology and at Eindhoven University of Technology.

Roel Baets has made contributions to research on photonic integrated circuits (PICs), both in silicon photonics and in III-V semiconductors, including their heterogeneous integration. His early research focused mostly on components and technologies, such as widely tunable lasers for optical fiber communication systems, grating couplers for fiber-chip coupling, phased array beam steerers and light sources integrated with silicon photonics. Later his research gradually moved to the application level, especially with focus on medical and environmental sensing.

Roel Baets has chaired the Photonics Research Group at UGent-IMEC until October 2022. With 12 professors and 85 researchers this group is involved in numerous (inter)national research programs. Seven spin-off companies have resulted from the group’s research.

Roel Baets has led major research projects in silicon photonics in Europe. In 2006 he founded ePIXfab, the globally first Multi-Project-Wafer service for silicon photonics. Since then ePIXfab has evolved to become the European Silicon Photonics Alliance. He was also co-founder of a MSc programme in Photonics, a joint master programme of UGent and VUB.

Roel Baets has been an ERC grantee of the European Research Council and a Methusalem grantee of the Flemish government. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, of the European Optical Society (EOS) and of Optica. He has been a recipient of the 2011 MOC award, of the 2018 PIC-International Lifetime Achievement Award, of the 2020 OSA-IEEE John Tyndall award and of the 2023 IEEE Photonics Award.

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