Joseph E. Ford

Office: 3405 Engineering Building Unit 1 

Mailing Address:
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0407
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0407

Phone: (858) 534-7891
Fax: (858) 534-1225


Joseph Ford received a B.Sc. degree in physics from UC Los Angeles in 1983, and Masters degrees in laser physics at the University of British Columbia and in optical engineering at Rochester's Institute of Optics. In January 1992 he received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering/applied physics from UC San Diego for studies in parallel optical interconnects using phase and wavelength multiplexed photorefractive crystals. Dr. Ford became an Assistant Research Scientist at UCSD working on polarization- and wavelength-selective computer-generated holograms, then joined data storage startup Call/Recall where he demonstrated image storage in a doped-polymer cube using two-wavelength two-photon recording.

From 1994-2000, Dr. Ford was a member of the Advanced Photonics Research Department of Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, NJ. Dr. Ford led a Bell Labs research team to demonstrate many of the first micromechanical (MEMS) telecom components including the first MEMS dynamic spectral equalizer and wavelength add/drop switch. He also worked on the “AMOEBA” datacom network with MQW modulators integrated with CMOS electronics and interconnected through single mode fiber using femtosecond laser source. In March 2000, Dr. Ford joined telecom startup Optical Micro-Machines, where he lead the technical design of a large beamsteering crossconnect development effort, and eventually became Chief Scientist. In January 2002, Dr. Ford started Modern Optics, an optical technology development company. In December 2002, Dr. Ford joined the UCSD Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty, where he will continue to do research on intelligent optical devices and subsystems.

 Research Interests

·        Resonant nano-scale optics (micro-opto-mechanical and switched photonic bandgap devices) using electro-optic, electromagnetic and/or electrostatic actuation.

·        Hybrid integration and optomechanical packaging of free-space and waveguide optical devices with electronic control circuitry.

·        Optical networks with local monitoring and autonomous control, such as wavelength-multiplexed transmission with adaptive amplitude and passband shaping.

·        More generally, applications of physical optics to data storage, optoelectronic computing and telecommunications.



    MEMS Overview, Wavelength Add/Drop Switch, Dispersion Compensator, Dynamic Spectral Equalizer

Related internet links

  2000 IEEE International Conference on Optical MEMS (Host General Chair)

  Bell Labs Lucent Techologies

Bell Labs hyperlinked explanation of optical MEMS

Lucent press release on MEMS add/drop switch

  Optical Micro-Machines

Fiber Optics Product News article on OMM crossconnects

  2002 Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, Special Issue on Optical MEMS (Co-Editor)


More than 100 journal and conference papers and 35 US patents (link to full list doc html) including:


·  Wavelength add/drop switching using tilting micromirrors (PDF, 549K)

      Ford, Aksyuk, Bishop & Walker, IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technology 17, 904-911, 1999.

·  Dynamic spectral power equalization using micro-opto-mechanics (PDF, 95K)

      Ford & Walker, IEEE Photonics Technology Letters 10, 1440-1442, 1998.

·  A tunable dispersion compensating MEMS all-pass filter (PDF, 83K)

      Madsen, Walker, Ford. Goossen, Nielson & Lenz,  IEEE Phot. Tech. Lett. 12, 651-653, 2000.

·  The AMOEBA network: an optoelectronic switch for multiprocessor networking using dense-WDM Krishnamoorthy, Ford, et al, IEEE J. Sel. Topics in Quant. Elec. 5, 261-275, 1999. (PDF, 874K)

·  Optoelectronic-VLSI packaging with polarization-selective computer generated holograms

      Xu, Fainman, Ford & Krishnamoorthy, Optics Letters 22, 1095-1097, 1997.

·  Wavelength-selective planar holograms

      Ford, Xu & Fainman, Optics Letters 21, 80-82 1996.

·  Reconfigurable array interconnection by photorefractive correlation

      Ford, Fainman & Lee, Applied Optics  33, 6363-6377, 1994.

·  Multiplex holography in SBN:60 with applied field

      Ford, Taketomi, Bize, Neurgaonkar, Fainman & Lee, J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 9, 1183-1192, 1992.

·  Incremental recording for photorefractive hologram multiplexing

      Taketomi, Ford, Sasaki, Ma, Fainman & Lee, Optics Letters 16, 1774-1776, 1991.

·  Time integrating interferometry using photorefractive fanout

      Ford, Fainman & Lee, Optics Letters 13, 856-858, 1988.


Last Updated: 1/10/03