Founders


Wally Haas

Avalon is led by Wally Haas, a successful entrepreneur with almost twenty years in high technology industries.  Wally has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Calgary. Wally’s career has led him to work in St. John’s, Ottawa, and the U.K., and travelled extensively working with customers in North America, Europe, and Asia.  Wally has worked for several well-regarded companies such as Nortel, PMC-Sierra, and AMCC, focused largely on semiconductor design for optical networking. When Wally moved to Newfoundland for family reasons, he founded Avalon Microelectronics to continue his career and passion for semiconductors.  The company did extremely well. Without the need for any venture capital, Wally grew the company to 31 people and nearly $4M in annual revenue. Wally sold Avalon to Altera in 2010 after less than 5 years of effort. Altera is a large, multi-national business based in Silicon Valley, which was itself acquired by Intel in 2015.  Wally and his family live in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where Avalon is headquartered.

Russ Baker

Russ Baker helped seed the idea behind Avalon Holographics and serves as a co-founder and Vice President of Business Development.  He has accumulated over twenty years of development, sales and marketing experience in deeply technical fields such as optical telecom, semiconductor, data networking, embedded software, and security, after earning a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Calgary.  Russ has spent nearly his entire career in technology startups, focused primarily on semiconductor applications in networking and security. Avalon is his fifth startup, with the previous four all leading to successful acquisitions:

  • Mentor Engineering (mobile data systems), acquired by Trapeze

  • Extreme Packet Devices (networking semiconductors), acquired by PMC-Sierra

  • Solidum Systems (networking semiconductors), acquired by IDT

  • Elliptic Technologies (security software and semiconductors), acquired by Synopsys

Russ lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario, although work-related travel is an integrated aspect of his lifestyle.

 
 
 
 

Team


 
 
 
 
 

Over 50 staff, with 16 PhDs.

Subject Matter Experts and/or PhDs, leading groups specializing in:

  • Optics/Photonics

  • Numerical modeling

  • Spectroscopy

  • Material Chemistry

  • Laser Physics

  • Data Visualization, using advanced signal processing

  • Computer vision

  • Nanofabrication

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