LEDs Magazine 40 Under 40 Class features leaders across LED and SSL sectors (MAGAZINE)

July 24, 2020
Nominations from industry and scrutiny by our editorial team have yielded 40 young professionals working with LEDs and SSL that are going above and beyond to move the sectors forward, report CARRIE MEADOWS and MAURY WRIGHT.

Without question, some of the most innovative minds and driven personalities have created the high-brightness LED industry and led a revolution in lighting in just two decades. Many of those pioneers are now retired or preparing to do so, but we at LEDs Magazine can assure you that the LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) sectors will enjoy continued innovation and evolution with the new roster of professionals under 40 years of age. Our first 40 Under 40 Class includes professionals in roles ranging from research & development (R&D) to product development to lighting specification/design.

These up-and-coming leaders are being recognized for their contributions to their own organizations and to the industry via participation in activities such as standards development and education.

We began the selection process by opening nominations to industry professionals who were asked to identify worthy participants and to submit a short essay explaining why the nominee should be considered. Subsequently, our team reviewed each and every nomination, gathered additional information in many cases, and now we are announcing the Class. Please join us in celebrating the 40 Under 40, presented in random order. Each profile is linked below, with a navigation link back to this main page.

ROBERT SOLER Co-founder and vice president of R&D, BIOS Lighting

ERICO MATTOS — Executive director, GLASE

KANDICE COHEN — Director of lighting strategy, Trane Technologies


STEVE GRAVES Vice president of business development, Fluence Bioengineering

JARED (JD) DAVIDSON Vice president of the Americas, Seoul Semiconductor

INDIKA PERERA Research scientist, Lighting Research Center

KIM JOHNSON Director of marketing, Igor

MASON BARKER Vice president of product development, Luminii

ISAAC WILDESON Senior director of epitaxy technology R&D, Lumileds

DRAKE BRASKI Co-founder of VentorLux

JACOB STEINBRECHER Associate research scientist, Dow Inc.

SERGE GOUNTAS Director of the automation and electrical department, Showman Fabricators

RICHARD HALL LED systems engineer, LumenFocus

CHARLES JARBOE Lead research specialist, Lighting Research Center

KURT LIEPMANN Senior illumination applications engineer, Osram Opto Semiconductors

JELMER SANDERS Product manager, LED modules, Signify


JOE CULLUMBER President, Brilled Lighting


KORY LISZT Software engineering manager, Cree Lighting

MICHAEL DEMAS Vice president of operations, Fusion Optix

ROBERT DEMPSEY Scenic sales manager, Environmental Lights

JORDON MUSSER Senior director, LED products and technology, Flex Lighting Solutions

BASAR ERDENER Director of marketing and product management, LED Linear USA

MICHAEL KERSHNER Founder, Innovative Lighting Consultants

TIMO BONGARTZ General manager, Fluence Bioengineering

AARON VAN DAMME General manager, Nichia

TREVOR VOGT Director of engineering, Gamma Scientific

ANDREW SMITH Marketing manager, Seoul Semiconductor

CLIFTON MANAHAN Senior associate, HLB Lighting Design, Inc.

ANDERSEN ZAPATA Founder and CEO, Lighting of Tomorrow

MICHAEL HENNESSY CEO, Wavelength Lighting

JON SARAFINAS Director of engineering, Lumenpulse

DANIEL BÅNKESTAD Research & development engineer, Heliospectra

JAKE ENGLE Lighting application specialist, Energy Systems Group

SHIVANGI ARVIND Chief science officer, AgEye Technologies

CAMERON OVEISI Business development manager, Ledrabrands

DAVE GRASSI Optical engineering manager, Lumenpulse

CHRISTOPHER HARTSWICK Co-founder and chief product officer, Ideoli Group

Congratulations to this year's 40 Under 40 Class. We thank all those who took the time to nominate someone for the program and to deliver the praise that made it so difficult for our team to select the honorees. We very much look forward to the bright future for these honorees, as well as the energy, innovation, determination, and creativity they bring to the LED and SSL community.

About the Author

Carrie Meadows | Editor-in-Chief, LEDs Magazine

Carrie Meadows has more than 20 years of experience in the publishing and media industry. She worked with the PennWell Technology Group for more than 17 years, having been part of the editorial staff at Solid State Technology, Microlithography World, Lightwave, Portable Design, CleanRooms, Laser Focus World, and Vision Systems Design before the group was acquired by current parent company Endeavor Business Media.

Meadows has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards, and has volunteered as a judge on several B2B editorial awards committees. She received a BA in English literature from Saint Anselm College, and earned thesis honors in the college's Geisel Library. Without the patience to sit down and write a book of her own, she has gladly undertaken the role of editor for the writings of friends and family.

Meadows enjoys living in the beautiful but sometimes unpredictable four seasons of the New England region, volunteering with an animal shelter, reading (of course), and walking with friends and extended "dog family" in her spare time.

About the Author

Maury Wright | Editor in Chief

Maury Wright is an electronics engineer turned technology journalist, who has focused specifically on the LED & Lighting industry for the past decade. Wright first wrote for LEDs Magazine as a contractor in 2010, and took over as Editor-in-Chief in 2012. He has broad experience in technology areas ranging from microprocessors to digital media to wireless networks that he gained over 30 years in the trade press. Wright has experience running global editorial operations, such as during his tenure as worldwide editorial director of EDN Magazine, and has been instrumental in launching publication websites going back to the earliest days of the Internet. Wright has won numerous industry awards, including multiple ASBPE national awards for B2B journalism excellence, and has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards. He received a BS in electrical engineering from Auburn University.