Robert Pfahl

Technology Roadmap Director
iNEMI

Bob Pfahl, Ph.D., is one of two Principal Investigators for the Integrated Photonics Systems Roadmap (IPSR). He is responsible for leading the development of the PSMC Roadmap, including developing the gap analysis, the product emulator, and identifying possible projects for Phase 2. The PSMC Roadmap will be developed by several Technology Working Groups (TWGs) under Dr. Pfahl’s and Dr. Kimerling’s guidance. Dr. Pfahl also chairs the Data Center Product Emulator Group (PEG).

Dr. Pfahl is currently Senior Consultant for the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI). He previously served as Vice President of Global Operations for iNEMI and has been actively involved with the consortium since its beginning in 1994. He created the iNEMI roadmapping process and led that organization’s global efforts to reduce the environmental impact of electronic products. He also globalized iNEMI by establishing offices in China, Europe and Japan. Over the past decade iNEMI members have been the leaders in developing the technology to allow the electronics industry to eliminate lead (Pb) and brominated flame retardants from their products.

Prior to joining iNEMI, Dr. Pfahl was Director of International and Environmental Research and Development at Motorola Labs, where he established and led Motorola’s Environmental Technology R&D and Advanced Manufacturing Technology R&D labs in China, Brazil and Germany. He also worked with Bell Labs/Western Electric in a number of research, manufacturing, and management positions related to electronics and semiconductor manufacturing.

During his career in the electronics industry, Dr. Pfahl has been a pioneer in developing reflow soldering processes. He holds nine U.S. patents in electronics manufacturing technology and is the inventor of the vapor phase soldering process. He has contributed more than 100 publications, seminars and invited lectures in manufacturing and sustainability to a wide range of audiences worldwide.

The IEEE Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology Society (CPMT) presented Dr. Pfahl with its 2005 Electronics Manufacturing Technology Award. He was lauded for developing new manufacturing processes, reducing the environmental impact of electronic manufacturing processes and fostering collaboration within the manufacturing technology community.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Pfahl has developed an expertise in environmental issues affecting the electronics industry. He participated in the pioneering 1994 National Research Council’s study, “The Greening of Industrial Ecosystems.” Dr. Pfahl was a founding member of the International Society of Industrial Ecology. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Industrial Ecology. He served the National Research Council (USA) as a member of the National Materials Advisory Board, the Board on Manufacturing and Engineering Design, and the National Materials and Manufacturing Board which oversaw the “Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation” report. In recognition of his efforts to eliminate the use of CFCs in the electronics industry, Dr. Pfahl received the United States EPA Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award. He also received the Electronic Goes Green Award 2008+ from the German Fraunhofer Society “for his commitment to environmental protection and inspiring ideas concerning sustainable development in technology and business solutions.”

Dr. Pfahl has served on industrial advisory boards in manufacturing or sustainability at MIT, Northwestern, Washington University, Georgia Tech and Purdue. He received his B.M.E., M.S., and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, where he majored in heat transfer and fluid mechanics.