CLEMSON — A partnership between two national leaders in optical fiber will take center stage Wednesday when Clemson University names a lab after a company that has made a series of donations valued at more than $25,000.

The lab will be named for Verrillon-AFL of North Grafton, Mass. The company, which is a subsidiary of AFL of Spartanburg, develops, manufactures and markets specialty optical fiber and cables for the oil-and-gas, industrial and military markets.

The lab naming is a show of appreciation for Verrillon’s support of Clemson’s world-class Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies (COMSET).

Researchers at the center develop specialty optical fibers that transmit light and can be used in a range of products, including military lasers, medical devices and precision manufacturing equipment.

Abdel Soufiane, founder and CEO of Verrillon, said that he is proud to have the company’s name on a Clemson University lab.

“We’re honored,” he said. “It’s recognition of what Verrillon has built in the fiber optic industry. Verrillon is a brand name that is well known, especially now that we’re part of AFL.”

Verrillon has given chemicals that were used to make optical fibers for a variety of federal and industry projects, said John Ballato, who is the university’s vice president for economic development and formerly was COMSET’s director .

“COMSET has enjoyed a very long and productive partnership with Verrillon and AFL through joint research projects and through the hiring of students,” Ballato said. “Naming a laboratory such as this is a celebration of that partnership and our way to say ‘thanks’ for their steadfast support.”

COMSET and the Verrillon-AFL Optics Industry Lab are housed at the Advanced Materials Research Lab (AMRL) in Anderson.
The sign will be unveiled in the AMRL lobby at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.


Verrillon develops, manufactures and markets innovative specialty optical fiber for the oil and gas, industrial and military markets. Verrillon’s product range includes Harsh Environment Fibers, Polarization-Maintaining Fibers and Rare-earth Doped Fibers. Verrillon is focused on providing optical fiber with high quality, cost effective, and technically advanced fiber-based solutions.