Steve Newman

Menicon Co., Ltd, R&D division

Steve is Executive Officer, Global R&D & Chief Technical Officer of Menicon Co., Ltd. and splits his time between Japan and Singapore. He has 40 years of experience in the contact lens industry, particularly in the area of manufacturing and lens design. He holds numerous patents in the area of toric and aberration managed contact lens designs, unique manufacturing methods, materials and contact lens packaging (particularly in the flat pack technology). He began his career with Hydron Inc. in Adelaide and helped develop both the Australasian and International contact lens manufacturing and lens portfolio for them over a period of ten years until they were purchased by Allergan. During his time with Hydron, as R&D Manager, he designed and implemented both lens designs and manufacturing processes that would be exported to Hydron’s overseas facilities in UK, Canada and USA where he was periodically based. These included the zero 6 lens family and became Hydron’s staple products. He started out by working in the field of hard and soft lens lathing and then ultimately moved to the USA to transpose some of these designs to moulding and spin casting. It was during this time that Allergan purchased Hydron and Steve moved back to Australia to establish Capricornia in Brisbane with his partner, Mr. Don Noack. At Capricornia he helped establish the company as a high quality specialist lens manufacturer and developed IP that could be licensed to other companies. He designed unique lenses such as the SA Multifocal sphere and tori and Epicon lenses. As a result of various license arrangements he ultimately moved to Singapore where he established their first mass production contact lens plant via cast moulding. That company ultimately grew to become the Igel Visioncare Group and had branches and manufacturing facilities throughout SE Asia. As CEO he was responsible for all activities of the company, including the development of manufacturing plants, products and regulatory accreditation that would allow access to all global markets, including the USA and Japan. Igel eventually became Clearlab under 1800Contacts at which point in time Steve took on the role of Chief Technology Officer. During this time he began to develop novel lens and packaging concepts to address patient compliance issues and focused on how to improve contact lens safety. Concurrently he also served on the board of Advanced Ocular Systems Ltd. and supported the development of both adaptive IOLs and an injectable corticoid steroid for the treatment of AMD. He then joined Menicon to fully develop the flat pack lens and built their automated manufacturing plant in Singapore. Steve has presented on contact lens design and development at academic and industry seminars throughout the world. He has co-published a number of international scientific papers and book chapters on lens manufacturing.

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