Distinguished Lecture | Alumni | ECE Distinguished Seminar Series | ECE Willie Hobbs Moore Distinguished Alumni Lecture

An electrical engineer’s guide to research and development at Corning Incorporated

Dr. Donnell WaltonDirectorCorning Technology Center—Silicon Valley

Dr. Donnell Walton is the 2021 ECE Willie Hobbs Moore Alumni Lectureship recipient. 


I will discuss the past, present and future of electrical-engineering-related research at Corning Incorporated. I will overview Corning’s historical industry-defining contributions in areas comprising light bulbs, vacuum tubes and cathode ray tubes.I will provide an overview of our current work in wireless networks for autonomous vehicles, adaptive optics and electronics for active optical couplers, and novel materials for high-frequency printed circuit boards. I will conclude the talk with some ruminations and lessons on industrial research.


Dr. Donnell Walton is the director of the Corning Technology Center Silicon Valley. In this role, he leads research and business development efforts to match Corning’s existing and emerging capabilities and opportunities in the western United States, in particular, the Silicon Valley region of California.

Walton joined Corning in 1999 as a senior research scientist in Science & Technology, where he performed and led research in optical fiber amplifiers and lasers. In 2004, Walton led Corning’s research and development efforts to a world leadership position in high-power (kW) fiber lasers. Then in 2006, he managed the Silicon on Glass (SiOG) platform expansion project, which demonstrated non-display applications of SiOG including imagers and photovoltaics. In 2008, Walton joined the Corning® Gorilla® Glass team as a senior applications engineer, where he extended the Gorilla Glass value proposition to form factors larger than handheld devices. In 2010, Walton was appointed manager of worldwide applications engineering for Gorilla Glass.

Prior to joining Corning, Walton was a physics professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he won the National Science Foundation’s Young Investigator (CAREER) Award.

Walton earned a Ph.D. in applied physics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor after graduating summa cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in physics and electrical engineering from North Carolina State University. He completed the Stanford Executive Program at the Graduate School of Business in 2019. He serves on the board of the National Society of Black Physicists, the research advisory board of the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center and the corporate affiliate boards at the Universities of California in Santa Barbara and San Diego. Walton has authored or co-authored 22 U.S. patents and more than 60 technical reports.

The ECE Dr. Willie Hobbs Moore Alumni Lecture is given by ECE alumni from traditionally underrepresented groups in Electrical and Computer Engineering who are leaders in their field and serve as role models for the ECE community through their leadership, impact on society, service to the community, or other contributions.

WATCH: Dr. Walton's 2021 ECE Willie Hobbs Moore Lecture.

Sponsored by

Electrical and Computer Engineering


Ann Stals

Faculty Host

Herbert Winful