Peter Atherton

SBIR/STTR Program Director


Before joining NSF Peter was originally CEO, and most recently CTO, at MIKOH Corporation Ltd, a publicly traded company that he founded in Sydney, Australia. While at MIKOH Corporation he was instrumental in developing and commercializing technologies in a range of fields including diffractive optics, laser-based marking, radio frequency identification and internet-based personal authentication.) Prior to MIKOH he spent approximately seven years at the Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC Australia) where he managed optical fiber communications R&D, including approximately 14 months in the UK at British Telecom’s Martlesham Heath R&D laboratories. (While at OTC his research group made world-leading advances in high-speed optical communications technologies, some of which were commercialized via spin-off companies. He also managed the externally contracted development and commercialization of a number of optical fiber and optoelectronic technologies, and was instrumental in establishing a commercialization center for specialized optical fibers at the University of Sydney. He moved to the United States in 1998 to further develop the company’s technologies and markets. Peter holds a Ph.D. in physics (Quantum Optics), and a BEng (Mech) – both from the University of Queensland (Australia).