April 21, 2011 - Thomas Baer

Engineering Entrepreneurship

OSA Presidential Speaker

I will present several models for financing sustainable innovation in the private sector, based on examples of photonics startups in Silicon Valley.

I will also discuss the technology transfer and licensing philosophy at Stanford which has led to great success in translating new science and technology into viable commercial products.

Thomas Baer

Dr. Baer is currently the Executive Director of the Stanford Photonics Research Center and a member of the Applied Physics Department at Stanford University. His research is focused on developing imaging and analysis technology for exploring the molecular basis of developmental biology and neuroscience.

From 1996 to 2005 Dr. Baer was the CEO, chairman, and founder of Arcturus Bioscience, a biotechnology company located in Mountain View, CA, which he established in 1996. Arcturus Bioscience pioneered the area of Microgenomics by developing and manufacturing laser microdissection instrumentation and integrated bioreagent systems. Arcturus developed products that allowed precise genetic analysis of microscopic tissue samples and which were integrated into a new generation of cancer diagnostic tests. Prior to Arcturus, Dr. Baer was Vice President of Research at Biometric Imaging, where he led an interdisciplinary group developing products with applications in the areas of AIDS monitoring, bone marrow transplant therapy, and blood supply quality control. From 1981 to 1992 Dr. Baer was at Spectra-Physics, Inc., where he held positions as Vice-President of Research and Spectra-Physics Fellow. While at Spectra-Physics his research focused on ultra-fast lasers, optical pulse compression, diode-pumped solid-state lasers, and non-linear optics.

Dr. Baer has made major contributions in the areas of biotechnology, quantum electronics, and laser applications, and is listed as an inventor on 60 patents and is a co-author on many peer reviewed publications in a number of different scientific fields. His commercial products have received many industry awards for design innovation. Co-founder of four companies in Silicon Valley, he was named entrepreneur of the year for emerging companies in Silicon Valley in 2000, by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Dr. Baer graduated with a BA degree in Physics Magna Cum Laude from Lawrence University and received his MS and Ph.D. degrees in Atomic Physics from the University of Chicago. He is also an alumnus of Harvard Business School and in 1994 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Lawrence University. He has been elected to the status of Fellow in two international scientific societies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and The Optical Society of America (OSA) and served as the President of OSA in 2009.


DINNER reservations are required by 6 PM, April 17, 2011, the Sunday of the meeting. MEETING ONLY reservations are required by noon, April 19, 2011, the Tuesday of the meeting.

Please make reservations online. Reservations may also be left on the answering machine at 617.584.0266. We no longer have an email address for reservations due to SPAM. When making reservation requests, please provide the following information:

  • DINNER AND MEETING or meeting only
  • Name(s) and membership status
  • Daytime phone number where you can be reached (in case of change or cancellation)


Rebeccas Cafe (Located in back of the office complex)
275 Grove Street
Auburndale, MA 02466

(617) 969-3282

(Map to Rebecca's).

Networking—5:45 PM, Dinner—6:30, Meeting—7:30 PM.


Dinner will include --- and coffee, tea, or milk.

Vegetarian option available on request

Dinner Prices:

  Register on/before
DINNER Reservation Date
Late Reservation or
at the door 
NES/OSA Members and their guests $25.00 each $30.00
Students $15.00 $15.00
Non-members $30.00 (See NOTE Below) $35.00



NES/OSA accepts cash and checks at the door for dinner payment. If you would like to pay be Credit Card please press the Pay Now button to be directed to PayPal.
Membership Type



You do not need to have a PayPal account to pay with a credit card.

NOTE: The NES/OSA has not changed dinner prices in several years but has been facing higher costs. We will maintain the current dinner prices for those reserving dinner on the requested date but still try to accommodate late reservations.

General Information on NES/OSA Meetings

Cancellations and No-shows:

If the meeting must be canceled for any reason, we will try to call you at the phone number you leave with your reservation. Official notice of cancellation will be on our answering machine.

We have to pay for the dinners reserved as of the Tuesday before the meeting, so no-shows eat into our cash reserve. If you will not be able to attend, please let us know as early as possible. Otherwise, no-shows will be billed.

Membership Rates:

Regular members $15.00
Student members free




NOTE: The extra $5.00 of the non-member dinner fee can be used toward membership dues if the nonmember joins and pays dues for the current year at the meeting.