After PhD studies as an Office of Naval Research Fellow at Stanford University, Professor Lear joined Sandia National Laboratories as a Senior Member of Technical Staff where he developed high performance laser diode technology. He left Sandia to commercialize the technology as the Chief Scientific Officer and head of development for MicroOptical Devices (MODE, acquired in 1997 by Emcore Corporation). His research in vertical cavity surface emitting lasers has led to performance benchmarks for efficiency and speed, a number of related patents, and recognition with an IEEE LEOS Distinguished Lecturer Award. Since moving to Colorado State University his research has focused on photonic biosensors as well as components and systems for high speed optical communication. He serves as a consultant and advisory board member for a number of high technology companies.