About us

ORCA-USA is a hearing aid research facility located in the Illinois Technology & Research Corridor in the village of Lisle, Illinois (Suburb of Chicago).
Founded in 2001, ORCA-USA along with its sister facility ORCA-Europe (est. 2007), have been conducting clinical hearing aid research for their parent company Widex A/S.

Widex designates considerable resources for audiological and technological research in the continual pursuit of refining and developing new hearing aid technology. The results of the hearing aid research conducted at this office assist us in our mission to develop high quality hearing instruments that give people with a hearing loss the same opportunities for communication as people with normal hearing.We have published numerous publications on our findings.

Through sharing this information, we hope the hearing healthcare professionals will have a better understanding of our products and become more successful in their fitting.



Francis Kuk, Ph.D.
Vice President – Audiology
Dr. Kuk has been with Widex USA since 1997. He earned both his Masters and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Iowa. Prior to joining Widex, Dr. Kuk held research and faculty positions at the University of Iowa and the University of Illinois-Chicago, respectively. Dr. Kuk has published extensively as well as been a speaker at numerous state, national and international conferences. He is currently the Vice President of Audiology for Widex USA.
Petri Korhonen, M.Sc.(tech.)
Senior Research Scientist
Petri Korhonen received his M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from Helsinki University of Technology. He worked as a researcher in the Laboratory of Acoustic and Audio Signal Processing at Helsinki University of Technology from 2004 to 2006. In 2006 he joined ORCA-USA.
Christopher Slugocki, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
Christopher Slugocki, Ph.D. (Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior, McMaster University) is a Research Scientist at ORCA-USA. Presently, his work uses psychophysics and electrophysiology to explore how the human auditory system processes sounds in adverse listening conditions. His duties involve study design, data collection, statistical analysis, and research dissemination.
Neal Ruperto, Au.D.
Research Audiologist
Neal started working for Widex ORCA-USA in October 2018. He earned his Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree from Rush University in September 2018. He also has a degree in Linguistics and Communication Disorders from Fresno State University in California. As one of the audiologists, Neal is responsible for participants coordination, data collection and reduction, and internal data dissemination.