John Bowers

Fred Kavli Distinguished Professor, Technology Management, Materials, and Electrical and Computer Engineering (he/ him)

Professor Bowers' research interests are in energy efficiency and in the development of novel optoelectronic devices for the next generation of optical networks. His research interests include silicon photonics and integrated circuits, optical switching, the design of quantum well structures for high speed light generation and detection, and the design of high speed time division multiplexed systems and devices. Prior to joining UCSB in 1987, Professor Bowers worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories on semiconductor lasers and photodetectors. Professor Bowers is Director of the Institute for Energy Efficiency and a member of the Technology Management (TM).

Bowers is interested in entrepreneurship, technology management and product development.  He has cofounded several companies and taken several leaves of absence to be CEO or CTO of several of them. He was cofounder and CEO of Terabit Technology, which developed

optical receivers and was acquired by Ciena in 1998. He cofounded Aerius Photonics, acquired by Flir Systems in 2011 and Aurrion, acquired by Juniper Networks in 2016.  His current research is focused on silicon photonic integrated circuits.

John Bowers Research & Awards


Integrated turnkey soliton microcombs

Boqiang Shen, Lin Chang,  Junqiu Liu, Heming Wang, Qi-Fan Yang, Chao Xiang, Rui Ning Wang, Jijun He, Tianyi Liu, Weiqiang Xie, Joel Guo, David Kinghorn, Lue Wu, Qing-Xin Ji, Tobias J. Kippenberg, Kerry Vahala & John E. Bowers (2020). Nature. 

2020 CLEO Silicon Photonics

UCSB: Dan Blumenthal, Art Gossard, Jon Klamkin, Clint Schow, Lin Chang, Joel Guo, Duanni Huang, MJ Kennedy, Songtao Liu, Andy Netherton, Aditya Malik, Justin Norman, Jon Peters, Paolo Pintus, Jennifer Selvidge, Chen Shang, Minh Tran, Yating Wan, Chao Xiang, Weiqiang Xie, Zeyu Zhang Contributors: AIM Photonics, Analog Photonics, Caltech, Columbia, Ghent, Global Foundries, Intel, Ligentec, Mirios, Nexus Photonics, NIST, NTT, Quintessent, Sandia, Telecom Paris Tech, Tower Jazz, Univ. Tokyo

Toward Fully Integrated Nonlinear Photonics

John E. Bowers, Director, Institute of Energy Efficiency, UC Santa Barbara



IEEE Photonics Award, 2017

University of Minnesota Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award, 2016

Selection as Scientist in Residence, Universität Duisburg-Essen, 2016

Election as a National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellow, 2016

UCSB Faculty Research Lecturer, 2012

OSA/IEEE Tyndall Award, 2012

Kavli Chair for Nanotechnology, 2009

OSA Nick Holonyak, Jr., Award, 2009

IEEE Transactions on Components and Packaging Technol. Best Paper, 2006

EETimes ACE Award for “Most Promising New Technology”, 2007

Micro-optics Conference Award, 2007

Discover Magazine list of top 100 achievements, 2006

PC World Tech. Excellence Award for Best Semiconductor Technology, 2006

National Academy of Engineering, 2005

Fellow of the Optical Society of America, 2002

Entrepreneur of the Year Award, South Coast Business and Technology, 2001

Fellow of the American Physical Society, 1996

IEEE LEOS William Streifer Award, 1996