Young-Kai (Y.K.) Chen

Deputy Chief Technology officer


Dr. Young-Kai (Y.K.) Chen was appointed Deputy Chief Technology Officer (DCTO) for Coherent in July 2022. In this role, Dr. Chen works closely with the Chief Technology Officer to chart the future technical direction of the company, including the creation of new materials for energy generation, transmission, and storage; basic research around next-generation quantum technologies; breakthroughs required for the sixth generation of wireless networks; and the adoption of digital technologies, machine learning, and artificial intelligence across Coherent’s operations and in its products and services.

Prior to being named DCTO, Dr. Chen was Chief Scientist in the company’s Wide-Bandgap Electronics Technologies group. Before joining Coherent in 2021, he was a program manager at DARPA, where he initiated and managed programs in advanced semiconductor electronics, secured communications, and artificial intelligence and machine learning processing. Dr. Chen was previously a senior director at Nokia Bell Labs, responsible for advanced research and technology development in high-speed electronics and optoelectronics, including integrated lasers, silicon photonics, coherent optical data links, and wireless backhaul transceivers.

Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in Electrical Engineering. He is a Fellow of Bell Labs, IEEE, and Optica (OSA); a member of the National Academy of Engineering; and recipient of the prestigious IEEE David Sarnoff Award and the Edison Patent Award. He has authored or co-authored three book chapters and over 190 journal articles, and he holds 33 U.S. patents.

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