Brown University School of Engineering has awarded its 2017 Brown Engineering Alumni Medal (BEAM) to David J. DiGiovanni '82, Sc.M.'84, Sc.M. '86, Ph.D.'87. The presentation of the medal will take place on Saturday, May 27, at the annual engineering awards dinner.
DiGiovanni earned his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering, magna cum laude and with honors, from Brown in 1982. His senior project on laser-induced thermophoresis led to a Ph.D. program in Professor Ted Morse's group on mechanisms of dopant incorporation in the glass-formation process used to make optical fiber, earning his master's degree in engineering in 1984, another in applied mathematics in 1986, and a Ph.D. in 1987, all from Brown University.
Shortly after graduation, DiGiovanni began his career with a post-doctoral position in the Optical Fiber Research Department at Bell Laboratories, studying various phenomena related to optical fiber design, fabrication and applications, making notable contributions to the development of erbium-doped fiber for optical amplifiers, Raman amplification, high power lasers, and several optical components used in telecommunications. He enabled the transfer of many of these technologies from the research lab to new products and was appointed director of fiber research at Bell Labs in 1999.
When Lucent Technologies sold its optical fiber and cable division in 2001, DiGiovanni became President of OFS Laboratories, the central research division of OFS Fitel, the second largest manufacturer of optical fiber and cable worldwide. In 2005, he was appointed chief technical officer.
The author of many technical publications, including chapters on fiber design and fabrication in several books, DiGiovanni has taught courses on Specialty Optical Fiber at international conferences for many years. He has been granted over 80 patents, including a Lucent Patent Recognition Award in 2000 for his work on an optical amplifier.
DiGiovanni has served as Associate Editor of IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, received the Bell Laboratories President's award, and is both a member of IEEE and a Fellow of the The Optical Society (OSA).
The BEAM award was established in 1997 as part of the celebration of 150 years of teaching engineering at Brown. It is awarded to Brown Engineering graduates, recognizing exceptional records of accomplishment in their engineering careers. A committee, comprised of faculty members and previously chosen medalists, select the new medalist each year. DiGiovanni joins a prestigious list of BEAM awardees, including recent recipients Ayanna Howard '93 (2016), Tejal A. Desai '94 (2015) and Andrea I. Razzaghi '82 (2014).