Meet the New President and Board of Directors

Klaus photoKlaus Löffler, LIA’s 2013 president, graduated from the University of Stuttgart with a master’s in mechanical engineering. His expertise in lasers extends from resonator design, excitation methods, beam delivery, sensor systems to laser material processing. From 1990 to 1991 he worked on the LaserCAV process at MAHO in Pfronten, Germany. From 1991 to 1995 he worked at TRUMPF Laser Technik in Ditzingen, Germany as a CO2 development engineer. In 1995, he came to TRUMPF Inc. in Farmington, CT, USA. He worked as technical coordinator between TRUMPF in Germany and TRUMPF Inc. to transfer technology and build up technical staff. From 1996 to 2002 he started the TRUMPF Laser Technology Center in Plymouth, MI, USA. In his position as director, he was responsible for the organization, mainly focused in support and sales of all laser products. During this time more than 500 TRUMPF lasers were implemented in North America. From 2002 to 2006 he took over the position as manager of the joining group at Volkswagen. In this position he was responsible for the implementation of more than 500 High Power Lasers into production. This included the application as well as the industrial implementation.

From 2006 to the end of 2009 he took over the responsibility for international sales at TRUMPF Lasers and Systems along with the responsibility for sales, additional product management, main application management and marketing. From 2009 to 2010 he implemented the strategic industry development for the TRUMPF Laser und Systemtechnik. In 2011 he was promoted to the Head of International Sales for TRUMPF Laser. Starting in 2007, he became a member of the Board of Directors of the Laser Institute of America. In 2008 he was elected as Secretary of the Executive Committee of LIA. Besides LIA, he serves on the advisory board of the Fraunhofer IWU, Bavarian Laser Center, School of Advanced Optical Technology and the exhibition LASYS. Mr. Loffler also acts as an editor for JLA. The global growth of laser technology is the goal of all of these activities.

During his term as LIA president, Löffler would like to ensure the growth pattern from the previous years and take measures that ensure a stable growth for years to come. He has a lot of ideas and his goal is to implement as many as possible and have a measurable positive result at the end of 2013 with the help of the dedicated LIA members and staff.

One of Löffler’s goals is to continue to support immediate past president Reinhart Poprawe’s hard work in the positive development of LIA’s Journal of Laser Applications® (JLA) by encouraging more creative attention and input within the organization itself.

Löffler would also like to put measures in place to increase LIA’s brand awareness. Cooperation has already been established between LIA and a graduate program based in Germany, to increase the reach of LIA. If it develops well, he would like to see similar cooperations like this one increase internationally. Löffler does not want to just look at countries far away, he would also like to take a closer look into other American countries like Mexico, Canada, Brazil, etc. and how LIA could serve their needs in order to increase presence and gain new memberships. Within the U.S., the government initiative “Harnessing Light” offers a chance for LIA to take a leading role and further increase LIA’s brand awareness.

On a personal note, Löffler is passionate about two main things in life – being outdoors and spending time with his family. He is married and has three little girls. For those who know him, his favorite outdoor activity is running and he has been a member of the German National Team. Löffler is also the founder and advocate of the unofficial ICALEO® morning running club, now called the “LIA Running Club,” and hopes to gain more recruits this year. We wish Klaus Löffler success in all of his endeavors as this year’s LIA president!

Yongfeng LuPresident-Elect Yongfeng Lu is currently the Lott University Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Before he joined UNL in 2002, he worked at the National University of Singapore. Dr. Lu received his BEng degree from Tsinghua University (China), M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Osaka University (Japan) in 1984, 1988 and 1991, respectively. He has approximately 20 years of research experience in laser-based micro/nanoscale materials processing and characterization. Besides the fundamental research work that led to a large number of publications and a number of national and international awards, he also has successfully developed a number of laser-based material processing technologies and commercialized them in industries. In the past few years, he received more than $10 million of research funding from DoD, NSF, DOE, NRI, private foundations and industry, including a MURI grant from ONR. He has given numerous plenary, keynote and invited talks in international conferences. He has served as the general chair for the International Congress on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics (ICALEO) in 2007 and 2008, which is the largest annual event organized by the Laser Institute of America. He was elected to SPIE and LIA Fellow since 2008 and 2009, respectively. He is also an editor for the Journal of Laser Applications.

Stephen CappTreasurer Stephen Capp is CEO of Laserage Technology Corporation, where he has held that position since 1994.  He previously held positions as Plant Manager and Vice President of Operations.  Laserage is an international supplier of laser-processed materials growing to one of the largest laser job shops in the United States.  Mr. Capp graduated from Milwaukee School of Engineering in 1978 with degrees in Electrical Power Engineering Technology and Industrial Management and has worked in the laser industry for more than 25 years.  He has been a member of the LIA since 1992. He has also served three previous terms as the national treasurer and member of the Executive Council of the International Microelectronics and Packaging Society. With his prior experience, he will assist the Executive Director and the members of the Board of Directors in setting the direction and addressing financial issues of the LIA.

Robert ThomasSecretary Robert J. Thomas received his B.S. degree in physics from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS in 1989 and his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Missouri–Columbia in 1994. In 1994, he joined the Air Force Research Laboratory in San Antonio, TX. For the past 17 years he has been a national leader in the areas of experimental and theoretical biomedical optics—particularly those areas that apply to the establishment of safety standards and exposure limits.  Dr. Thomas is a member of SPIE, the American Physical Society (APS), the Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and in 2007, was named a Fellow of the LIA. Thomas’ contributions to the LIA have primarily involved basic research for the scientific foundations of laser safety and the development of the ANSI Z136 series of standards. Thomas’ contributions have led to his role as the Secretary of the ASC Z136 from 2005-2010, and in 2010, appointment as the chairman for the ASC Z136.

Reinhart PopraweImmediate Past President Reinhart Poprawe has worked in the laser industry and its related organizations for over 30 years. He received an M.A. in physics from California State University in Fresno in 1977. After completion of his Ph.D. in physics (Darmstadt, 1984) he joined the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT) in Aachen, Germany where he worked as head of a department for laser-oriented process development. Prof. Poprawe started Thyssen Laser Technik GMBH in 1988 and was the company’s CEO. Since 1996, he has been managing director of Fraunhofer ILT and holds the University Chair for Laser Technology at the RWTH Aachen. In 2004 he served as vice rector of Aachen University and currently is a member of several boards in the scientific and industrial organizations, e.g. the AKL Arbeitskreis Lasertechnik e. V. Aachen. He also chairs the RWTH International Board and is the Rectors delegate for China.


Paul DenneyPaul Denney has been involved in the development and implementation of laser materials processing for over 30 years.  Presently he is a Senior Laser Applications Engineer at Lincoln Electric in Cleveland, OH.  Previously he held the positions of director of the Laser Applications Laboratory at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT), laser technology team leader at the Edison Welding Institute (EWI), head of the High Energy Processing Department at ARL Penn State, research engineer at the Westinghouse Electric Research & Development Center in Pittsburgh, metallurgist at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Washington, D.C. and a product metallurgist at C F & I Steel Corp. in Pueblo, CO. He is a Fellow of LIA and has been General Chair and the Laser Materials Processing chairperson a number of times for ICALEO® as well as Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM®) Workshop Chair the last four years.  In addition to LIA, he is also a member of ASM and AWS having participated in C7, C7C and C7D committees on high power density processes.

Larry DosserLarry Dosser received his B.S. in chemistry (1966) and M.S. (1970) in physical chemistry from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Arkansas (1975).  This was followed by postdoctoral appointments at the University of Toronto (1975-1978) and Syracuse (1978-1980). Dr. Dosser was employed at the DOE Mound Facility (1980-1995) located in Miamisburg, OH. He founded the Mound Laser & Photonics Center, Inc. (MLPC) in 1995 and serves as its President and CEO.  Dosser possesses a broad spectrum of more than 40 years of hands on experience in laser applications and physical chemistry with proven success in numerous laser-based technology areas.  He has guided the company to consistent profitability and growth following a strategy that combines commercial laser-based manufacturing services with successful R&D programs funded by the Federal government, the State of Ohio and corporate America. He is an active member of several educational and commercial development boards and works to promote STEM education and enhance the collaboration between defense, commercial and educational institutions.

Stefan HeinemannStefan Heinemann has been involved with the development of new laser processes, components and systems for over 20 years, primarily serving the automotive and the renewable energy industry, i.e., batteries and solar cells. He received his diploma from the Technical University of Munich in 1991 and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Berlin in 1994 working on tunable single frequency disk lasers and applying MEMS technologies for their cost effective production. Dr. Heinemann joined the development team of Jenoptik Laserdiode GmbH in 1994. In 1998 he joined Fraunhofer USA as the director of the Center for Laser Technology, taught at Wayne State University from 1999 to 2001 and co-founded three Michigan based companies.  In 2007 he established the cooperation between the University of Michigan and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft in the field of Clean Transportation. He is also a member of the American Welding Society (AWS).

Stefan KaierleStefan Kaierle studied electrical engineering and went on to earn his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University, Germany. In 1998 he joined Fraunhofer ILT as a department head for system technology. In this role, his main research was focused on laser system technology, laser materials processing, laser process control and optics, as well as related fields like eco-efficiency, automation and laser engineering. He had been appointed to two guest professorships at Changchun University (in 2005) and at Beijing University of Technology (in 2007), China. In 2012, Dr. Kaierle moved to Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) and assumed responsibility for the department of Materials and Processes. Currently, he is President of the European Laser Institute ELI and Co-Executive Editor-in-Chief of the new NATURE journal Light: Science & Applications.

Xinbing LiuXinbing Liu has been the director of Panasonic Boston Laboratory (PBL) of Panasonic R&D Company of America since the beginning of 2006.  He joined PBL in 1998 as project manager, and subsequently became program manager, group director and is now the deputy director.  Prior to Panasonic, he was with Electro Scientific Industries as senior research and development engineer working on laser packaging applications in 1998.  Dr. Liu obtained his Ph.D. in applied physics from the University of Michigan and did his graduate work at the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science (CUOS).  When he joined PBL he became responsible for the overall technical work of the lab and led several successful projects developing key technologies in laser processing and micro-optics.  He won a number of awards at Panasonic for his technical contributions to the company.  Liu has been actively involved in sponsoring LIA conferences, serving as chair of the Laser Microprocessing Conference of ICALEO in 2007 and 2008, and was the general chair in 2009.

Eric MottayEric Mottay graduated in 1985 from the Ecole Superieure d’Optique near Paris, the leading institution in France for Optical Engineering. Within the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique, he developed fiber delivery systems for Nd:YAG laser welding. In 1986, he joined B.M. Industries, a laser manufacturing company, initially as a research engineer, then as Technical Director. He specialized in the development and manufacturing of solid-state lasers. In 1997, he moved to the U.S. to start the U.S. operations of B.M. Industries, where the activity was growing and profitable within one year. In 2001, he founded Amplitude Systemes in Bordeaux, France.  Under a technology transfer from the University of Bordeaux, and starting from a scientific proof of concept, he developed the company into what is today a leading industrial ultrafast laser manufacturer.  In doing so, he developed during the past 10 years many scientific and industrial partnerships with research institutions, technology centers and industrial companies.

Robert MuellerRobert Mueller has over 25 years of experience working with all laser types, 20 of which were dedicated to industrial laser applications and systems. Dr. Mueller received his Ph.D. from York University, with a thesis on laser welding dynamics, as well as a M.Sc. in Laser Physics from The University of Toronto. Currently, he is a Sr. Laser Solutions Specialist at NuTech Engineering Inc. in Milton, ON, Canada.  NuTech Engineering designs and builds custom automated welding and cutting systems. In addition, Mueller is responsible for system design, laser system certification and laser safety training of NuTech and customer personnel. Prior to joining NuTech, Mueller worked with laser systems at Dofasco (now part of Arcelor-Mittal Steel), Powerlasers, and as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Waterloo, and the University of Tennessee Space Institute. In his profession, Mueller has maintained his Certified Laser Safety Officer (CLSO) designation since 2003.

Andreas OstendorfAndreas Ostendorf studied electrical engineering at the University of Hannover, Germany. In 1995 he joined the Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) as a scientist dealing with micro-machining using UV and ultrafast lasers. In 2000 he finished his Ph.D. thesis on comparing the interaction models of those two laser principles. After holding different offices at LZH, in 2001 he became its CEO and a member of the Board of Directors. In 2008 he became a full-time professor at Ruhr-University Bochum, where he holds the chair of Laser Applications Technology (LAT). Dr. Ostendorf has been greatly involved in ICALEO and was a co-chair in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and was the General Chair in 2005 and 2006. He was elected to the Board of Directors of LIA for the term of 2004-2006 and has also been a member of the Executive Committee of LIA, responsible for the coordination of conferences, since 2005. Ostendorf was LIA president in 2008. He is currently a Fellow of LIA and SPIE and also a member of the WLT German Scientific Laser Society, which cooperates internationally with LIA.

Silke PfluegerSilke Pflueger has 25 years of experience in industrial lasers and their applications. Dr. Pflueger started her career in lasers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology in Aachen, Germany, working on numerous laser development and applications projects. This also brought her to the U.S., specifically to the Fraunhofer Resource Center in Michigan as a project manager, where she was involved in establishing the newly founded group as a center of excellence for laser technologies in Michigan and beyond. Pflueger received her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Technical University in Aachen. Since then, Pflueger has also held positions as Director of Sales and Marketing for Laserline Inc. and Director Sales North America for SPI Lasers. At SDL/JDSU she held engineering and marketing positions, working with high power laser diodes and fiber lasers. Today, she represents ULO Optics in the Americas.

Islam SalamaIslam Salama works as a technology development manager and a group lead with Intel Corporation in Chandler, AZ.  He has a Ph.D. in laser materials processing from the College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL) at the University of Central Florida. He works in the field of semiconductor manufacturing and microelectronic packaging focusing on the development of various lasers and patterning processes for high density interconnect and microelectronic substrates. He has authored over 25 technical papers, was awarded two international patents and has more than 30 patent-pending inventions in the fields of laser technology, laser materials processing and semiconductor fabrications. Throughout his tenure with Intel Corporation, Dr. Salama has enabled various innovative laser technologies for inspection, lithography and micromachining process in high density interconnect integration. Salama has been involved in the field of laser materials processing and laser applications over the last 10 years and has been an active member of the LIA for the last 8 years.


Lutz Aschke, LIMO Lissotschenko Mikrooptik GmbH
Neil Ball, Directed Light Inc.
Milan Brandt, RMIT University
Michael Francoeur, Joining Technologies
Lin Li, University of Manchester
William O’Neill, Cambridge University
Henrikki Pantsar, Cencorp Corporation
Nathaniel Quick, AppliCote Associates
Koji Sugioka, RIKEN
Kunihiko Washio, Paradigm Laser Research Ltd.


Eckhard Beyer, Fraunhofer IWS
Ken Dzurko, SPI Lasers, LLC
Richard Harvey, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Markus Kogel-Hollacher, Precitec Optronik
David Krattley, Preco, Inc.
William Lawson, New Tech Development
Juan Pou, University of Vigo
John Tyrer, Loughborough University
Steven Weiss, Innovative Laser Technologies, Inc.
Minlin Zhong, Tsinghua University

About the Author
Steven Glover is a proud member of the LIA staff. When he is not at work he is actively involved in several charitable efforts.
Posted in Laser Editorials