Dr. Efstratios (Stratos) Kehayas

Dr. Efstratios (Stratos) Kehayas
Ph.D/ EngD, Master's, BSc/ BA, MSc/ MPhys...
Chief Commercial Officer

Dr. Kehayas is currently the head of the global Commercial and Product Development teams at G&H (Gooch & Housego), where he leads sales, product management, R&D and marketing.

Stratos studied Engineering in the UK at Southampton University and Optics & Photonics at Imperial College London on an EPSRC scholarship. After completing his studies, he returned to Greece to pursue a PhD in photonics at the National Technical University of Athens. While there, he led a research group focused on high-speed fiber-optic systems.

In 2009 he co-founded Constelex, a technology start-up that focused on space photonics. After successfully developing the first amplifier versions, Constelex was acquired by Gooch & Housego (G&H) in 2013. The business was then moved from Athens and merged with G&H’s fiber-optics facility in Torquay, UK. As the Vice President of R&D, Stratos was responsible for building and expanding G&H’s space photonics business.

In 2018, after establishing the company as a leader in the field with a multi-million revenue stream, he was promoted to Chief Technology Officer and formed a global R&D team responsible for product development. In this role, he focused on developing new products for use in satellite communications, bio-photonics, LiDAR, and industrial laser processing.

In 2021, Stratos was promoted to Chief Commercial Officer in recognition of the importance of aligning product development with market needs. As part of this role, he combined Product Management and R&D functions into a single team to underpin innovation and new product development.

Along with his family, he relocated to G&H’s acousto-optics facility in Fremont, California, where he is closer to Silicon Valley and key customers in the US. He is currently leading the commercial and R&D teams and is focused on identifying new business opportunities that will drive profitable revenue growth in strategic market segments.

“I stumbled across photonics very early in life when a good friend of mine showed me a university brochure. I was immediately fascinated by this technology that seeks to harness the power of light. Photonics has the potential to fundamentally change our lives and be the driving force for a wide range of applications in life sciences, space, and telecommunications. It’s a relatively new technology, so there’s a real opportunity for engineers to be disruptive when applying it in new areas.”

“An interesting example is the introduction of lasers on satellites in space. I will always remember the feeling of watching our fiber amplifiers being launched aboard the Japanese JDRS-1 satellite on a dark morning a couple of years ago. This success was due, of course, to the hard work of a dedicated team in Torquay. As I watched the rocket blast off into space though, I couldn’t help but think back to the early designs we had scribbled in our small lab in Athens in 2010. It was just a two-person team at the time, but we were already dreaming of launching lasers into space. I found myself thinking back to the weeks we spent in the basement of a radiation facility, using a Cobalt-60 source to try and find a stable, radiation-resistant design. We had many early failures, but they were all remarkable in their own way.”

“Life is full of twists and turns, but if you love what you do, dedicate your time to it, and work with ‘meraki’ as we say in Greece, then success is inevitable.”