EdgeWave Founder Keming Du Wins 2015 Schawlow Award

By: Geoff Giordano

ORLANDO, FL, Aug. 12, 2015 — With more than 70 patents or patent applications and more than 100 published works in a career spanning three decades, EdgeWave founder Dr. Keming Du is being honored as the Laser Institute of America’s 2015 Arthur L. Schawlow Award winner.

The Schawlow Award recognizes the recipient’s longstanding record of laser industry innovation and contributions to basic and applied research in laser science and engineering leading to fundamental understanding of laser materials interaction and/or transfer of laser technology for increased application in industry, medicine and daily life.

Du, who spearheaded development of diode and solid-state lasers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology from 1985 to 2001, created EdgeWave in 2001 to offer innovative solutions in compact diode-pumped solid-state lasers for different applications.

Under Du’s leadership, EdgeWave won the 2012 Stifterprice Science prize and, in the same year, 1st prize of the “Innovation Award Laser Technology” granted by Arbeitskreis Lasertechnik e.V. and the European Laser Institute.

The Schawlow Award “is the most important and recognized prize in the area of laser technology,” Du said. It “is essential for encouraging scientists and engineers doing excellent work in promoting and enhancing laser technology. This year being the International Year of Light, I am honored to be the winner. I am very happy and very proud (and) I appreciate the recognition very much.”

In assessing his legacy, he noted that among his chief achievements are advances in:

  • Ultra-high power CO2 lasers with powers beyond 30kW and diffraction limited beam quality.
  • Beam shaping and fiber coupling of high-power diode lasers like step mirrors and optical stacking.
  • Micro glass processing via forward ablation.
  • InnoSlab lasers and InnoSlab amplification.
  • Industrialization of unique short-pulse and ultra-short pulse lasers based on InnoSlab technology.

“The beam shaping technology and fiber coupling technology is adapted in most laser sources based on high-power diode lasers,” he noted. “The micro glass processing is used in the glass industry and display industry. Short-pulse and ultra-short pulse lasers are highly reliable, compact and resource efficient. All those will continuously benefit to our society.”

As for the company he created, EdgeWave “is the pioneer and technology leader of InnoSlab lasers and amplifiers,” he explained.  “The mission of EdgeWave is continuously scaling the power and energy of short-pulse and ultra-short pulse lasers, providing highly reliable and affordable laser solutions and broadening the lasers’ application areas.”

LIA presented the first award in 1982 to Schawlow, who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1981. Schawlow was co-recipient of the 1960 patent for the maser with Charles Townes, inventor of the laser.

Past recipients have included Reinhart Poprawe (2014), managing director of Fraunhofer ILT and LIA president for 2012, and Ursula Keller (2013), inventor of the semiconductor saturable absorber mirror, or SESAM. Keller, a pioneer of ultrafast laser research, is the first female recipient of the Schawlow Award.

Du will receive the honor of the Schawlow Award on Oct. 21 during the awards luncheon at the 34th annual International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO®) in Atlanta, Georgia. Along with accepting his award, Du will be presenting “Micro Processing of Macro Parts (MP2) With Ultra-Short Pulse Lasers.” You can join the celebration and attend other ICALEO sessions by registering for ICALEO at this link.

About LIA

The Laser Institute of America (LIA) is the professional society for laser applications and safety serving the industrial, educational, medical, research and government communities throughout the world since 1968. www.lia.org, 13501 Ingenuity Drive, Ste 128, Orlando, FL 32826, +1.407.380.1553.