AOSense Employees

AOSense currently has 63 employees, spanning a wide range of disciplines including physics, optics, mechanical engineering, electronics, software, and packaging. We have one of the largest atomic physics teams in the world under one roof, including 28 Ph.D.s trained under seven physics Nobel laureates.

AOSense capabilities are detailed here.

Board of Directors

Brent Young

Dr. Brenton Young, President and Co-Founder

Ph.D. Physics, Stanford University

Since founding AOSense in 2004, Dr. Young has served as Principal Investigator for programs to develop atom-optic sensors and control electronics for DARPA and the Air Force. Prior to AOSense, Brent designed, built, and fielded atomic and optical systems for Stanford University, JPL, and NIST. His doctoral research, under the direction of Prof. Steven Chu, was a precision measurement of the fine-structure constant via the photon recoil shift in laser-cooled cesium.

Mark Kasevich

Prof. Mark Kasevich, Consulting Chief Scientist and Co-Founder

Ph.D. Applied Physics, Stanford University

Dr. Kasevich is a Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University where he pioneered many of the light-pulse atom interferometry techniques used in AOSense sensors. His current research interests focus on development of novel gravimetric and navigation sensors based on cold atoms. Mark graduated from Dartmouth College with a BA in physics and received his Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford University under the direction of Prof. Steven Chu.

James Spilker

Dr. James Spilker, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder

Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Stanford University

Dr. Spilker is a Consulting Professor of Electrical Engineering and Aeronautics & Astronautics at Stanford University. Jim was a co-architect of the GPS system and he has extensive experience commercializing complex military and aerospace technology as co-founder and Chairman of Stanford Telecom, which he grew to over 1,300 employees. At AOSense, he works on advanced navigation algorithms that fuse data from multiple sensor inputs.

David Whelan

Dr. David A. Whelan, NAE

Ph.D. Physics, University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Whelan was the Vice President & Chief Technologist (Ret), Boeing Defense Space & Security, where he developed new technology vectors and systems and served as a Member of the Board of Directors for the HRL Laboratories. Prior to joining the Boeing Company, Dr. Whelan was Director of the Tactical Technology Office at DARPA and Chief Scientist at Hughes Radar Systems. Dr. Whelan is currently serving as the Executive Director for Government relations at UCSD.

Technical Directors & Fellows

Michael Matthews

Dr. Michael Matthews, Director of Inertial Sensors

Ph.D. Physics, University of Colorado

Dr. Matthews joined AOSense in 2007 and has designed, built, and demonstrated a number of atom-optic sensors on programs sponsored by DARPA, the Navy, and Lawrence Livermore National Labs. Mike’s Ph.D. thesis work included the first demonstration of Bose-Einstein condensation, for which his advisors Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman won the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics. Prior to joining AOSense, he led a research group at 3M studying fiber devices, sensors, and UV-lithography.

Miao Zhu

Dr. Miao Zhu, Technical Fellow in Physics

Ph.D. Physics, University of Colorado

Dr. Zhu joined AOSense in 2015. Prior to joining AOSense, he was a Master Research Scientist at HP/Agilent Laboratories, where his research included atomic frequency standards, high-resolution laser spectroscopy, and optical frequency combs. His Ph.D. and post-doctoral research work in Dr. John Hall’s lab (JILA and NIST) included the laser frequency chirped cooling method, high resolution spectroscopy in laser cooled/trapped atoms, and sub-Hz laser frequency stabilization methods.

Alan Zorn

Alan Zorn, Director of Navigation Analysis

M.S. Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Stanford University

Since joining AOSense in 2009, Mr. Zorn has led the analysis of navigation and gravity systems for atom-optic sensors. Previously, at Dynamics Research Corp., Alan designed and tested inertial navigation systems aided by gravity gradiometers and GPS for the Trident submarine program. He also designed navigation filters at The Analytic Sciences Corp. and tested Doppler navigation systems at the Naval Air Development Center. Alan is currently completing his Ph.D. on optimal nonlinear control at Stanford.