Ashok Balakrishnan is the Director of Product Development at Enablence Technologies in Ottawa and is a contributor to the Turning Science in to Things People Need project. Ashok has an article titled Planar Lightwave Circuits Enable Next-Generation 40G/100G Networks published in the March edition of Photonics Spectra. Check it out to get another perspective on a successful scientist enjoying a career in an engineering environment.
Ashok has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Toronto and began his career performing fundamental research in laser spectroscopy. After a post-doc at the National Institute of Standards and Technology he transitioned into a career in industry developing laser-based products for spectroscopy, telecommunications, and biophotonics applications. In his article Ashok outlines the many technical challenges inherent in the development of PLCs for high bandwidth optical networks. The article provides a great view of the many technical challenges inherent to product development – challenges that keep his and other scientific minds engaged in their careers in the private sector.