As more colleagues from my generation move toward retirement, I am concerned that the collected knowledge we gained empirically is not fully being preserved for the next generation of fiber optic engineering professionals.


Why do I say this? If you look at the demographics, there is a missing generation of fiber optic engineers, or at least a dearth of them. If you’re old enough to remember, the 2001-2003 period in our industry suffered a significant recession. Prior to this, there was a build-up of expectations about what fiber would do and expected demand for bandwidth. Many companies had spin-offs to exploit new fiber optic ventures – in some cases, with nothing more than a patent application. While bandwidth demand increased so did copper’s capabilities. Fiber solutions (expensive at the time) were put on hold. Since everyone assumed the same volume but disputed how much market share they would take, huge overcapacity existed, and expensive new technologies did not realize their cost targets. So that generation of fiber optic engineers started to be laid off in large numbers, many with only a few years’ experience in the industry. As a result, many new technologies came into wide-spread development: areas such as electro-mechanical interfaces, remote vision systems, laser-based manufacturing, and so forth……………



Wayne Kachmar

About Wayne Kachmar

Wayne Kachmar, President, Technical Horsepower Consulting, LLC Mr. Kachmar has been in the optical cable industry for over 37 years. He has participated in many innovations and seen the maturing of the industry. Over the years, Wayne has been involved in many unique projects to provide optical cable in diverse environments such as the underwater ROV that penetrated the Titanic, as well as cable that is in service sensing sub-atomic particles in the Antarctic ice. Wayne developed a number of unique concepts and products using optical fibers as both information carriers and sensors where the cable became the sensor. These have included fiber laser ring gyroscope components and distributed acoustic sensors for terrestrial and underwater applications. As a principal investigator for many government sponsored projects, he has developed methods that push the state of the art in optical cable design and manufacture. Over his career, Wayne has been able to fuse this state of the art knowledge with conventional fiber cable design to significantly cost reduce both materials and processes. With over 50 granted patents in fiber optic cables, connectors and tools and over 60 patents published or in process, Wayne’s path to TE Connectivity started when he founded and ran Northern Lights Cable, Inc. in 1988. He sold the company to Prestolite Wire in late 1997 continuing as division CEO until 2000. In 2000, Prestolite Wire was packaged with other holdings of the owner to become GenTek (a publicly held company), which also acquired Krone that year. Wayne’s position transitioned to Director of R&D, managing the RD&E center. In 2004, all Krone divisions were acquired by ADC who itself was acquired by TE in December 2010. In 2012, Wayne was named a TE Fellow in electro-optic engineering based on the length and depth of his technical knowledge and accomplishments. This is the highest technical title within the TE structure with less than 20 persons worldwide out of 8000 scientists and engineers within TE. In 2015, Wayne incorporated his consulting company Technical Horsepower Consulting, LLC. And joined Fiber Optic Center, Inc. as their Optical Cable Technical Expert. Follow @TechHorsepower