Skip to main content

Dr. John M. Ballato

John M. Ballato

J. E. Sirrine Textile Foundation Endowed Chair of Optical Fibers and Professor

Phone: (864) 656-1035
Office: 208 Advanced Materials Research Laboratory (AMRL)
Website: John Ballato


Dr. Ballato holds the J. E. Sirrine Endowed Chair in Optical Fiber and is a professor of materials science and engineering. He previously served as COMSET’s founding Director as well as Clemson's Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees, Vice President for Research (interim), and Vice President for Economic Development. Dr. Ballato earned a B.S. in Ceramic Science and Engineering (1993) and a Ph.D. in Ceramic and Materials Engineering (1997) from Rutgers University. He Ballato has published more than 300 archival scientific papers, holds 33 U.S. and foreign patents, has given in excess of 150 invited lectures/colloquia, and has co-organized over 75 national and international conferences and symposia. Dr. Ballato has been a Principal Investigator (PI) on more than $46 million worth of sponsored programs, gifts, and contracts. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Topical Editor for Optics Letters, and is an active participant on the “Optoelectronic Glasses” technical committee for the International Commission on Glass.


Ph.D., Rutgers University (1997)
B.S., Rutgers University (1993)

Research Areas

Optical and optoelectronic properties of materials
Optical fiber fabrication
Rare-earth doping for active and passive optical applications

Recent Awards

Fellow, The American Ceramic Society (ACerS, 2009).
Fellow, The International Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE, 2011).
Fellow, Optical Society of America (OSA, 2012).
Class of ’39 Award for Excellence, Clemson University (2014).
South CarolinaGovernor’s Award for Excellence in Scientific Research (2014).
World Academy of Ceramics (2015).

Selected Publications

Ballato, J., & Dragic, P. (2013). Rethinking optical fiber: new demands, old glasses. Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 96(9), 2675-2692.

Karbasi, S., Frazier, R., Koch, K., Hawkins, T., Ballato, J., & Mafi, A. (2014). Image transport through a disordered optical fiber mediated by transverse anderson localization. Nature Communications, 5.

Dragic, P., & Ballato, J. (2014). 120 Years of Optical Glass Property Calculations: From the Law of Mixtures and the Birth of Glass Science to Mixing the Unmixable. Optics and Photonics News, pp. 44 – 51; Invited Feature Article.

Martinsen, F., Nord, M., Smeltzer B., Hawkins, T., Ballato, J., and Gibson, U. (2014). Silicon-core glass fibres as microwire radial-junction solar cells. (Nature) Scientific Reports 4, Article 6283.

Tao, G., Ebendorff-Heidepriem, H., Stolyarov, A., Danto, S., Badding, J., Fink, Y., Ballato, J., and Abouraddy, A. (2015). Infrared fibers. Advances in Optics & Photonics 7, 379 – 458; Invited Review.