Meet LIA’s New Officers & 2015 Board of Directors

By Paul Hoffmann

Photo - Bob ThomasLIA’s 2015 President Robert Thomas is an essential figure in research and publication throughout the many facets of the laser industry. He initially earned his B.S. degree in physics from Pittsburg State University in 1989, and worked to receive a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Missouri, Columbia, in 1994. His graduate studies focused on the fields of spectroscopy and numerical simulations for strained-layer semiconductor heterostructures. After obtaining his doctorate, Dr. Thomas joined the Air Force Research Laboratory in San Antonio, TX. Since then, he has established an impressive portfolio of publications covering topics including experimental and theoretical biomedical optics, laser-tissue interactions and laser safety exposure limit definitions. In addition to his memberships in SPIE, the American Physical Society (APS), the Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Dr. Thomas has used his role as Fellow of LIA to contribute to the development of the ANSI Z136 series of standards. For his efforts, he was appointed as the Chairman of the ASC Z136 in 2010. We wish Robert Thomas success in all of his endeavors as this year’s LIA president!

Photo - Lin LiPresident Elect Lin Li‘s many contributions to the photonic science and laser engineering, particularly laser materials processing  derive from his extensive publications (over 550 in scientific journals and conference proceedings and 47 patents) and continued activity in international groups and institutions. He began laser-processing researching at Imperial College, UK, in 1985, and obtained a Ph.D. in laser engineering in 1989. Following his graduation, he maintained a number of research or academic positions at Liverpool University and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). In 2010, he joined the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering at The University of Manchester, UK, where he served as the Director of Laser Processing Research Centre and a chair professor. Dr. Li’s research portfolio spans over laser cutting, welding, drilling, forming, surface engineering, micro/nano fabrication, additive manufacturing and nano-imaging. His Fellow status at LIA is one among many, as Dr. Li has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK, the Institute of Engineering and Technology and the International Academy for Production Engineering.   Dr. Li was elected as the President of International Academy of Photonics and Laser Engineering in 2013 and President Elect of Laser Institute of America in 2015. In 2013, Dr. Li was honored with the Royal Academy of Engineering Sir Frank Whittle Medal.  In 2014, Dr. Li received Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, and was voted as Researcher of the Year in Engineering and Physical Sciences of The University of Manchester 2014.

Steve Capp (2)Treasurer Stephen Capp is a familiar face in the laser industry, having been CEO of Laserage Technology Corporation since 1994 as well as LIA treasurer and president in 2011. In 1978 he graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering with degrees in both Electrical Power Engineering Technology and Industrial Management. A good number of his 25 years in the laser industry have been spent at Laserage, where he was employed as plant manager and vice president of operations before earning the title of CEO. In addition to serving on LIA’s Board of Directors, Capp was previously national treasurer and member of the Executive Council of the International Microelectronics and Packaging Society. With his years of experience handling the operations of 501(c)(3) corporations, Capp looks forward to managing financial subjects and issues for LIA.

Paul Denney (2)Secretary Paul Denney has been involved in the development and implementation of laser materials processing for almost 35 years.  Presently he is a Senior Laser Applications Engineer at Lincoln Electric in Cleveland, OH.  Previously he held the title of Director for the Laser Applications Laboratory at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT), Laser Technology Team Leader at the Edison Welding Institute (EWI), and Department Head for the High Energy Processing Department at ARL Penn State.  He was also involved in laser materials processing at Westinghouse Electric Research & Development Center in Pittsburgh, and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Washington, D.C.. He is a Fellow of LIA and has been General Chair and the Laser Materials Processing Chairperson for a number of times for ICALEO® as well as the General Chair for the Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM®) Workshop for five years.  In addition to LIA, he is also a member of ASM and AWS participating in AWS C7, C7C and C7D committees on high power density processes.

Yongfeng Lu (2)Immediate Past President Yongfeng Lu graduated from Tsinghua University of Beijing, China, in 1984 with a degree in electrical engineering. Dr. Lu went on to receive his M.Sc. from Osaka University, Japan, in 1988 and his Ph.D. from the same university in 1991. Dr. Lu’s research expertise lies in laser-based micro/nanoscale materials processing and characterization, which lead him to the development of various laser-based material processing technologies and their subsequent implementation in commercial markets. After earning his degrees, Dr. Lu spent several years in Singapore, where he served as faculty at the National University of Singapore and was able to establish an active group in laser microprocessing.

In 2002, Dr. Lu joined the University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s Department of Electrical Engineering, where he created the Laser-Assisted Nano Engineering (LANE) research group and continued his investigation of laser-based material synthesis, micro and nano-fabrication, and diagnostics. These efforts have lead to numerous publications in a number of journals, including Advanced Materials, Light: Science and Applications, Carbons and Applied Physics Letters, as well as over 18 million dollars’ worth of grants from NSF, DOD, DOE and many other organizations. Throughout his years of educational experience, Dr. Lu has mentored 23 Ph.D. students and over 30 M.Sc. and M.Eng. students. He was also given the honor of Lott University Professor in 2010. In the laser community at large, Dr. Lu served as general chair for ICALEO® in 2007 and 2008, and has been elected as a Fellow by LIA, SPIE and OSA.

2015 – 2017 Board of Directors:

Lutz Aschke - PhotoLutz Aschke, Ph.D., is a member of the board of IVAM, the international association of companies and institutes in the field of microtechnology, nanotechnology and advanced materials since 2007 and since 2012 member of the board of F.O.M.: The research association for precision engineering, optics and medical technology. He serves as Member of the program committee “optical technologies” at the German federal ministry of education and research with active support of the workshops and the creation of the “Agenda Photonik 2020” since 2007.

He has been managing director and CTO of LIMO Lissotschenko Mikrooptik GmbH in Germany from 2006 until 2014. From 2004 until 2006 he served as technical director at the executive board of LIMO. 2011 – 2014 he has been a member of the board of stakeholders of the European Photonics21 initiative and additionally since 2013 Executive board member and leader of the workgroup “Industrial Production / Manufacturing and Quality”. His scientific background is in plasma physics, especially DUV optics, EUV light sources and laser fusion.

Neil Ball2Neil Ball is the president of Directed Light Inc., San Jose, CA, a laser technology company serving the industrial, medical and scientific laser communities worldwide since 1983. Ball has devoted his adult working life to the industrial laser industry. He began his career 26 years ago as an application technician in the contract manufacturing sector at LaserFab, Inc. in California. He moved to Systron Donner Inertial and became involved in the production of inertial guidance packages, accelerometer, gyroscopes and inclinometers. Ball joined Directed Light in 1993 to assist in applications development, system design and component/service support. He has led the marketing and developing sales plans for both national and international arenas and is the resident methodologist, working on projection of future industry trends.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAMilan Brandt is a professor in advanced manufacturing in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Technical Director Advanced Manufacturing Precinct and Director Centre for Additive Manufacturing RMIT University, Melbourne Australia. The Centre is a leading provider of research locally and internationally in the area of Additive Manufacturing or 3D printing using both metal and polymer based additive systems. Brandt is the leading Australian researcher in the area of additive manufacturing with lasers. His research has resulted in technological achievements, patents, research papers and commercial products that have been recognized internationally and nationally. He has also actively promoted the benefits of laser technology to the Australian industry through invited presentations, conference papers and industry seminars. Professor Brandt is a regular Board member and fellow of LIA and Welding Technology Institute of Australia and editor of the JLA®. He is a regular on the organizing committees for ICALEO® and LAM®, and the organizer of a number of local conferences which promoted laser additive manufacturing technology and applications in the region.

Klaus LofflerKlaus Löffler has exhibited a wide range of experience throughout his career, from engineering and application to sales and implementation after graduating from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, with his master’s in mechanical engineering. In 1991 he joined TRUMPF Laser Technik as a COdevelopment engineer. He ventured to the US in 1995; he started the TRUMPF North American laser operation. During his career Löffler has been responsible for the implantation of many TRUMPF lasers worldwide, as well as the creation of the TRUMPF Laser Technology Center in Plymouth, MI. 2002 he moved back to Germany and took on the task as head of joining at the Volkswagen AG. In this position he was responsible to implement 400 high power lasers into production. From 2007 to know he is serving in different sales responsibilities and since 2014 he is a member of the management board of the TRUMPF business field laser. Klaus served from 1997 to 2002 and since 2007 as a member of the Board of Directors of LIA, and has fulfilled many valuable roles in the organization even as the president in 2013. In addition to his active presence at LIA, Löffler serves on the advisory board of the Fraunhofer IWU, Bavarian Laser Center, School of Advanced Optical Technology and more.

Bill-ONeillWilliam O’Neill is Professor of laser engineering within the Cambridge University Engineering Department and director of the Centre of Industrial Photonics. He has written and researched widely on the subjects of laser-matter interactions, optical engineering, laser based manufacturing technologies and micro/nano fabrication techniques. He is a fellow of LIA and the Institute of Physics and an industry and UK Governmental advisor on a number of laser-based manufacturing technologies. He has established a number of university spin-out companies.

Henrikki Pantsar_r (2)Henrikki Pantsar has been Vice President of Cencorp since 2010, most recently responsible for Technology and Innovation, strongly focused on the use of lasers and automation in photovoltaic manufacturing. Dr. Pantsar began working in the field of laser applications in 1999 at Lappeenranta University of Technology where he obtained his Masters and PhD. After receiving his PhD he joined VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in 2004 and Fraunhofer USA, Center for Laser Technology in 2007 as Senior Engineer in the field of Micromachining. Henrikki Pantsar has authored more than 70 scientific and technical publications. He has been actively involved with LIA events and activities, including serving as chair of the Laser Microprocessing Conference of ICALEO from 2011 until 2014. Dr. Pantsar is a recipient of the Award of Honor of the Welding Society of Finland and Henry Granjon Prize of the International Institute of Welding. He has been a member of the board of directors of LIA since 2012.

nat quickNathaniel Quick is a past president, past secretary, past board member and a fellow of LIA. He is president and chief technical officer of AppliCote Associates, LLC, Lake Mary, FL, a technology development and licensing company. AppliCote Associates, LLC, collaborates with national research institutions, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health, and SRI International, and academic institutions, including the University of Central Florida/CREOL and the University of South Florida. Quick has a PhD from Cornell University in materials science and engineering and is a past UCF Florida Photonics Center of Excellence advisory board member and past UCF Industrial Advisory Committee member.  He is a fellow of the African Scientific Institute, a past NIST guest researcher and past member of the Army Science Board. He currently holds 56 US patents and has over 60 publications.

Michelle StockMichelle L. Stock, Ph.D. is President of mlstock consulting, offering business development and marketing services primarily for companies developing leading edge lasers or laser components.  Her services are based on 20 years of experience commercializing ultrashort and short-pulsed fiber lasers for scientific, medical, and industrial applications.  Dr. Stock obtained her Ph.D. in 1994 from the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science at the University of Michigan, where she worked on generation and amplification of ultrashort pulses in optical fiber and was involved in the first fiber chirped-pulse amplification experiments. After graduating, she joined ultrafast fiber laser specialist IMRA America as an engineer. In 2007, she co-founded Arbor Photonics to develop specialty optical fiber to improve lasers for precision material processing, which was acquired in 2012. She has over 45 publications and 3 patents. She is the first chairperson of the non-profit trade association Mi-Light (the Michigan Photonics Industry Cluster) and has been involved in the U-based National Photonics Initiative (NPI), where she helped the LIA and other industrial representatives to articulate the NPI’s message about Advanced Manufacturing with lasers. Dr. Stock is the current Chairperson for ICALEO’s Laser Microprocessing Conference.

?????????????????Kunihiko Washio is founder and president of Paradigm Laser Research Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, since 2003. He received his M.S. degree in physics from the University of Tokyo in 1968 and Ph.D. degree in engineering from Tohoku University in 1980. He joined NEC Corporation in 1968 and engaged in R&D of various solid-state lasers and their applications for about 35 years. After retiring from NEC in 2003, he has been serving industries in consulting on development of lasers and their applications to materials processing. He has served as a program committee member for the International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication since 2000 and a conference chair for ICALEO’s Laser Microprocessing (LMF) Conference for two years in 2009 and 2010. He was the ICALEO Congress General Chair for two years in 2011 and 2012. He was elected as a LIA fellow in 2008 and is serving as a member of LIA Board of Directors for two terms since 2012.

MikeWoods-photoMichael Woods is the Laser Safety Officer at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He is an Engineering Physicist, with a B.Sc. in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and a Ph.D. in High Energy Physics from the University of Chicago. He has worked at SLAC since 1988 and for 20 years was a researcher and engineering physicist in experimental particle physics and accelerator physics.  He spent 15 years utilizing high power laser systems for photo-injectors, Compton polarimeters and electron beam diagnostics. He became SLAC’s LSO in 2008 and completed his CLSO certification that year.  He is a member of the ANSI Z136 ASC, SSC-1, SSC-8, TSC-4 and TSC-5 committees, and is Secretary for TSC-4.  He is currently chair of DOE’s EFCOG Laser Safety SubGroup (LSSG).  Michael is also a member of the American Physical Society.


2014-2016 Board of Directors

Eckhard Beyer, Fraunhofer IWS
Ken Dzurko, SPI Lasers
Gilbert Haas, Haas Laser Technologies, Inc.
Klaus Kleine, Coherent, Inc.
Markus Kogel-Hollacher, Precitec Optronik
William Lawson, New Tech Development
Reinhart Poprawe, Fraunhofer ILT
Michael Schmidt, Bayerisches Laserzentrum GmbH
Bill Shiner, IPG Photonics
Xiaoyan Zeng, Huazhong University of Science & Technology


2013-2015 Board of Directors

Larry Dosser, Wright State University
Stefan Heinemann, TRUMPF
John Hunter, LPW Technology, Inc.
Stefan Kaierle, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
Xinbing Liu, Panasonic Boston Laboratory
Eric Mottay, Amplitude Systems
Robert Mueller, Lasers-at-Work Consulting Ltd.
Andreas Ostendorf, Ruhr-University Bochum
Silke Pflueger, DirectPhotonics
Islam Salama, Intel Corporation