2014 McFarland Award
"High Tech Start-ups Based on Materials Science "
Vladimir Ban received his undergraduate degree from the University of Zagreb, Croatia in Chemical Engineering, and his Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in Materials Science. He started his scientific career at RCA Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey. He specialized in the science and technology of semiconductor materials, such as silicon and gallium arsenide, which became the foundation of today’s computer and communication industries. Vladimir has authored over 80 scientific articles and has over 30 US Patents granted or pending.
In 1984 Vladimir and his colleague Dr. Gregory Olsen founded Epitaxx Inc., a company dedicated to manufacturing of indium gallium arsenide detectors for fiber optic communication networks. In 1991 Epitaxx Inc. was sold to Nippon Sheet Glass Company and then, in 1999, resold to the JDS Uniphase. Epitaxx Inc. grew to more than 1000 employees, before falling a victim of outsourcing to Asia.
In 1994 Vladimir started PD-LD Inc., a company specializing in packaging of photonic components, such as photo-diodes and laser-diodes. This is still the main business of the company.
In the course of the last few years, PD-LD developed a proprietary Volume Bragg Grating technology based on photorefractive silica glasses. This technology is finding increasing applications in security, medical uses, industrial process monitoring, law enforcement and other areas. A successful introduction of products based on this new technology is creating a significant new business for the company.
Vladimir and his family reside in Princeton, New Jersey.