Conner Ballew

Conner Ballew is currently a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow working in the Submillimeter-Wave Advanced Technology group (386H) at JPL. He received his PhD from Caltech where he worked on the design and fabrication of 3D, or "volumetric", metaoptics operating at visible, near-infrared, and terahertz frequencies.

The primary challenges addressed by his thesis work involves developing an inverse-design procedure capable of identifying optimal device shapes that perform a given set of electromagnetic tasks while satisfying fabrication constraints. Using these advanced techniques, vast amounts of electromagnetic functionality (e.g. focusing, color-sorting, polarization-sorting) can be simultaneously achieved in extremely small device volumes that can be patterned with currently available micromachining techniques.

As an NPP, he is applying 3D metaoptics design and fabrication techniques to THz spectroscopy applications.

  • PhD in Electrical Engineering, California Institute of Technology (2021)
  • MS in Electrical Engineering, University of Washington (2016)
  • BS in Electrical Engineering, University of Washington (2015)
  • BS in Mathematics, University of Washington (2015)

Research Interests: 
  • Electromagnetic inverse-design
  • Volumetric metaoptics

Selected Publications: 
  1. Conner Ballew, Gregory Roberts, Tianzhe Zheng, and Andrei Faraon, “Constraining continuous topology optimizations to discrete solutions for photonic applications”, arXiv pre-print (2021).
  2. Ballew, C., Roberts, G., Camayd-Muñoz, S. et al. Mechanically reconfigurable multi-functional meta-optics studied at microwave frequencies. Sci Rep 11, 11145 (2021).
  3. Philip Camayd-Muñoz, Conner Ballew, Gregory Roberts, and Andrei Faraon, "Multifunctional volumetric meta-optics for color and polarization image sensors," Optica 7, 280-283 (2020)
Conner Ballew
4800 Oak Grove Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91109