Contact Information

Solomon Assefa
Director, Strategy & Growth Initiatives, IBM Research - Africa
Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY USA

Dr. Solomon Assefa is a Research Scientist at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. He has worked on nanophotonics technology for optical interconnects, with responsibilities spanning research, development, and technology transfer to commercial foundry. His research contributions include high-speed optical detectors, nano-structured platforms for bio-sensing, and quantum information processing. He has co-authored 38 scientific articles, has 40 patents, and has appeared as a guest speaker at numerous conferences worldwide. His work on nanophotonics has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, Forbes, Technology Review, EE Times, and IEEE Spectrum, among many others.

Additionally, Dr. Assefa is currently the Program Manager for Growth Markets and Strategic Initiatives, Science and Technology. In this role, he collaborates with IBM executives and scientists to develop strategic initiatives that ensure IBM’s success in emerging markets. Dr. Assefa was a key participant in the strategy for launching the IBM Research Lab in Kenya, IBM’s first in the African continent.

Dr. Assefa is a member of the Optical Society of America (OSA), the American Physical Society (APS), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has served as committee chair and workshop organizer for various conferences including the Optical Fibers Conference (OFC) and Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO).

Dr. Assefa is a recipient of several awards including the Technical Accomplishment Award, Corporate Recognition Award, and several Invention Achievement Awards from IBM. He was named one of the World’s Top Young Innovators under 35 and received the TR35 awarded by MIT’s Technology Review (2011). Dr. Assefa was honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2013. He received a B.S. in Physics (2001), a B.S. in EECS (2001), a M.S. in EECS (2001) and a Ph.D. (2004) all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).