2016 LIA Officers

Meet LIA’s New President & Board of Directors

By Betsy Marone

Lin_Li_Photo_2016.pngLIA’s 2016 President, Lin Li graduated from Dalian University with his B.Sc. in Automatic Control before earning his Ph.D. and DIC in Laser Engineering from London University’s Imperial College in 1989. With a research focus in high power laser engineering, Prof. Li worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Liverpool until 1994, when he became a lecturer at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). In 2000, Prof. Li became a full-time professor at the University and founded UMIST’s Laser Processing Research Center. An esteemed member of the faculty, Prof. Li – who remains the director of the Center – has also served both as Director of Research and as Deputy Head of the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, in addition to his work as the Head of the Manufacturing Research Group.

As the author or co-author of nearly 600 publications in laser processing and more than 340 publications related to laser materials processing and photonic sciences in peer-reviewed journals, Prof. Li is an experienced contributor to the laser industry. In addition to the 47 patents he holds, Prof. Li also serves on the editorial board of 12 international journals, including Optics & Laser Technology, Lasers in Engineering, and CIRP Journal of Manufacturing Science and Technology.

The field to which Prof. Li remains so dedicated has recognized him for his extensive work. In 2014 he received the Sir Frank Whittle Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award for his work in nanophotonics, and the University of Manchester’s Researcher of the Year medal.

An elected Fellow of LIA since 2007 and of the Royal Academy of Engineering since 2013, Prof. Li has held several esteemed positions within organizations worldwide. He served as a member of LIA’s Board of Directors from 2009-2013, LIA Secretary in 2014, President-elect in 2015, and as an annual ICALEO® presenter since 1986. Additionally, Prof. Li was elected to The International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP), served as President of the International Academy of Photonics and Laser Engineering, and Vice President of the Association of Industrial Laser Users (AILU).

As President, Prof. Li plans to establish a strong, sound financial program to ensure a successful future for the organization. In addition to improving the LIA community as a whole – through increased membership and international renown – and the vital services LIA supplies the laser industry, he will also work with his fellow officers to develop a long-term vision and strategy for the organization and explore not only the laser job shop sector, but also the expanding Asian laser community. His focus as president will also extend to the continued success of LIA’s conferences in 2016, including the 35th ICALEO Congress in San Diego, the Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM®) Workshop in Orlando, and the Lasers for Manufacturing Event® (LME®) in Atlanta.

A proud resident of Manchester, UK – the home of industry-changing scientific discoveries – Prof. Li spends his free time with his wife and his 13-year-old daughter. Outside of work, Prof. Li has won Taichi tournaments and pursues his passion for music as a Dizi and Erhu player in a Chinese music band, Oriental Breeze. We wish Lin Li success in his 2016 presidential term!

Paul DenneyPresident-Elect Paul Denney has been a staple in laser materials processing for more than 33 years. Over the span of his career, Denney has served in numerous high-ranking positions in his field. While he now holds the office of Senior Laser Applications Engineer at Lincoln Electric in Cleveland, OH, Denney previously worked as the Director of the Laser Applications Laboratory at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT), the Laser Technology Team Leader at the Edison Welding Institute (EWI), the Head of the High Energy Processing Department at ARL Penn State, a research engineer at the Westinghouse Electric Research & Development Center in Pittsburgh, PA, a metallurgist at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC, and a product metallurgist at C.F. & I Steel Corp. in Pueblo, CO. In addition to his extensive career, Denney holds 28 US patents and is a member of ASM and AWS, where he contributes to C7, C7C and C7D committees on high power density processes. Denney is a dedicated member and elected Fellow of LIA. In addition to his roles as LAM General Chair and the Laser Materials Processing Chairperson at numerous ICALEO conferences, Denney served as the organization’s Secretary in 2015.

Steve CappTreasurer Stephen Capp is well-known for his laser industry work, which has spanned more than 25 years. A graduate of Milwaukee School of Engineering, Capp earned degrees in Electrical Power Engineering Technology and Industrial Management in 1978. Capp has spent the majority of his career at Laserage Technology Corporation, where he originally held positions as Plant Manager and Vice President of Operations before becoming CEO of the company – a major international supplier of laser-processed materials – in 1994. A member of LIA since 1992, Capp previously served the organization as President. In addition to his work with LIA, Capp has been involved in the International Microelectronics and Packaging Society, where he served three terms as the National Treasurer and a member of the Executive Council.

Secretary Milan Brandt is renowned as an expert in his field, becoming a leader in the researching of micromachining with lasers. A Professor in Advanced Manufacturing at RMIT University’s School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Professor Brandt also holds positions as the Technical Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Precinct and the Director of the RMIT Centre for Additive Manufacturing at the University in Melbourne, Australia. His research currently focuses on additive manufacturing with the use of selective laser melting technology. With experience in laser cladding, cutting, drilling and welding, Professor Brandt’s numerous technological achievements, research papers, patents and commercial products have earned him both international and national recognition in scientific and industrial circles. Additionally, Professor Brandt has commercialized his research results, including his most recent work on laser cladding technology for the in-situ repair of steam turbines. Professor Brandt is a Fellow of LIA who has previously served on the Board of Directors and on the organizing committees for both ICALEO and LAM. While Professor Brandt also acted as Organizer and General Chair for PICALO 2004 and PICALO 2006, he was the  an editor of LIA’s Journal of Laser Applications® (JLA).

Photo - Bob ThomasImmediate Past President Robert Thomas is a prominent figure in the laser industry, recognized for his research and publication contributions to the field. After earning his B.S. from Pittsburgh State University in 1989, he attended the University of Missouri, where he received his Ph.D. in Physics in 1994 for his work in spectroscopy and numerical simulations for strained-layer semiconductor heterostructures. Since joining the Air Force Research Laboratory in San Antonio, TX in 1994, Dr. Thomas has become a national leader in the research of experimental and theoretical biomedical optics. He has authored and co-authored over 40 peer-reviewed papers and more than 50 other contributed papers in areas ranging from laser-tissue interactions and tissue optics to computer simulation and laser safety exposure limit definitions. A member of SPIE, the American Physical Society (APS), the Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Dr. Thomas was named Chairman of ASC Z136 in 2010 for the research he completed for the development of the ANSI Z136 series of standards. Elected as a Fellow of LIA in 2007, Dr. Thomas has held numerous leadership positions within the organization, including President in 2015.

2016-2018 Board of Directors

Clive Grafton-ReedClive Grafton-Reed is an awarded contributor to the laser industry. He began his career in the defense industry before receiving a Fellowship in Manufacturing Management from the Cranfield Institute and joining Lumonics Lasers in 1987. As the Global Process Owner of Laser Processes at Rolls-Royce since 2008, Reed is responsible for the technical direction of laser technology throughout the group, the approval of capital investments in laser systems, and the development of company policies and standards. In this position, he frequently advises global suppliers on laser applicability and has made significant changes in manufacturing, such as extending the use of lasers from classical 1064 nm to deep UV. The company awarded Reed the Rolls-Royce Engineering & Technology Prize for Creativity in 2012 for the contribution of his patent application for a miniaturized laser beam control device responsible for processing inside an aero-engine. In addition to his numerous patents for laser systems and applications, Reed is a member of the Technical Advisory Board for Fraunhofer UK.

John HunterJohn Hunter has been an integral member of the laser industry for 38 years. With a BBA from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, Hunter originally held the position of Commercial Director at Powder Products, Inc., where he was responsible for product development, sales and global marketing. As the General Manager and Treasurer of LPW Technology, Inc. (LPW) since 2014, Hunter successfully established this USA company – a wholly-owned subsidiary of LPW Technology, Ltd. in the UK. Throughout his career in the laser industry, Hunter has continuously contributed innovative products, ranging from metal powders for additive manufacturing to extruded activated carbon structures. Additionally, Hunter became a member of LIA in 2010 and, the following year, became a member of the LAM Workshop Program Committee.

Stefan KaierleStefan Kaierle’s successful career began when he earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from RWTH Aachen University in Germany. As the Department Head for System Technology Fraunhofer ILT, Prof. Kaierle has concentrated his research not only on laser system technology, laser materials processing, laser process control, and optics, but also the related fields of eco-efficiency, automation and laser engineering. After completing guest professorships at Changchun University in 2005 and Beijing University of Technology in 2007, Prof. Kaierle joined Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) as Head of the Department of Materials and Processes in 2012. Throughout his career, Prof. Kaierle has published 200 scientific papers – both in journals and conferences – and holds over 10 patents. He is also an active member of organizations across the globe, including the European Laser Institute (ELI), where he is a Fellow and served as President from 2003-2013. After becoming a member of LIA in 2013, Prof. Kaierle ultimately was elected a Fellow. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Stakeholders of the European Technology Platform Photonics21, the Co-Executive Editor-in-Chief of the NATURE journal Light: Science & Applications, and has acted as both chairman and a board member for many international conferences.

Yongfeng LuYongfeng Lu is a familiar face at LIA, where he has served in a variety of positions. A graduate of Japan’s Osaka University, he earned his M.Sc. in electrical engineering in 1988 and his Ph.D. in the same field in 1991. Prof. Lu began his career as a faculty member in the ECE Department at the National University of Singapore before moving to the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Now the Lott Distinguished Professor of Engineering at UNL, Prof. Lu has more than 20 years of experience in the processing and characterization of micro- and nanostructured materials. The research projects he conducts with his group have garnered financial support not only from numerous organizations – including NSF, AFOSR, ONR, DTRA, DOE, DOT, NCESR and NRI – but also from private companies and foundations in Japan. Prof. Lu has authored and co-authored over 300 journal papers and 350 conference papers and is a respected Fellow of SPIE, OSA and LIA. He served as LIA’s president in 2014 and as the Congress General Chair for ICALEO in 2007 and 2008. Prof. Lu – who has been both Chair and General Chair for major international conferences – continues his work with these events, holding the position of General Co-Chair for LASE at Photonics West in 2014 and 2015.

Eric MottayEric Mottay has proven himself an integral member of France’s laser industry. A graduate of École Supérieure d’Optique – the most prominent institution for Optical Engineering in France – he developed fiber delivery systems for Nd:YAG laser welding while working at Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique before joining B.M. Industries in 1986. As the Technical Director of the laser manufacturing company, his specialty was the development and manufacturing of solid-state lasers. In this position, he brought numerous groundbreaking products to the market, including high energy Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers, advanced parametric oscillators, and Ti:Sapphire-based ultrafast laser systems. In 1997, he moved to the United States and began state-side operations for B.M. Industries, ultimately making the project a success within one year of its inception. Mottay’s work continued in 2001 when he founded Amplitude Systemes, now a leading manufacturer of industrial ultrafast lasers.

Robert MuellerRobert Mueller is a staple in the laser industry with over 30 years of experience working with a variety of lasers and over 20 years of experience with industrial laser applications and systems.Mueller earned his M.Sc. in Laser Physics from the University of Toronto and later received his Ph.D. from York University, where he wrote a thesis on laser welding dynamics. Over the course of his career, he has gained areas of expertise that range from process development and system design for laser welding and laser cutting systems to in-process quality monitoring and control. Early in his career, Dr. Mueller worked for Powerlasers and NuTech Engineering, Inc. Today, Mueller – a Certified Laser Safety Officer (CLSO) since 2003 – is the Senior Laser Applications Specialist at Massiv Automated Systems in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. In this role, he is responsible for the specification, design and process development for all laser systems and applications, as well as laser safety at the company, including system design, laser system certification, and laser safety training.

Andreas OstendorfAndreas Ostendorf is a renowned contributor to the German laser industry. After studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Hannover, he earned his Ph.D. there in 2001. Prof. Ostendorf joined Ruhr-University Bochum in 2008 as a full-time professor and the Chair of Laser Applications Technology (LAT). Prior to this position, Prof. Ostendorf had a storied career at Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH). Beginning with the company as a scientist focusing on micro-machining using UV and ultrafast lasers, Prof. Ostendorf later became a member of the Board of Directors and CEO of the company in 2001. Throughout his career as a scientist working on laser micro- and nanostructuring, Prof. Ostendorf has been involved with the German Collaborative Research Centers, as well as numerous national and international research programs. Prof. Ostendorf has been an important member of LIA since 2002. Since then, he has been both Co-Chair and General Chair of ICALEO, a member of both the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of LIA, a Fellow of LIA and SPIE, and LIA’s 2008 President. In addition, Prof. Ostendorf is a member of the WLT German Scientific Laser Society, which cooperates internationally with LIA.

Raj PatelRajesh S. Patel is a practiced member of the laser material processing field, with over 20 years of experience. Earning his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989, Dr. Patel went on to work at his own consulting company and, later, at IBM, Aradign and IMRA America. Today, Dr. Patel is a manager at Spectra Physics – a division of Newport Corporation – where he manages the Laser Processing Applications Lab and new laser product development projects. With professional interests ranging from laser development and optics to mask technology and laser material processing and equipment design, he is the author of 22 US patents related to the areas of laser processing, optics and the mask technology fields. In addition to publishing and presenting over 40 technical papers, Dr. Patel is an active member of both SPIE and LIA. He has served on LIA’s Executive Committee, co-chaired ICALEO in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2002, and held the position of General Chair of ICALEO in 2004.

Silke PfluegerSilke Pflueger has 25 years of experience in the field of industrial lasers and their applications. After earning her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University in Aachen,Pflueger began her career in lasers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology in Aachen, Germany, working on laser development and applications projects. The position brought her to the Fraunhofer Resource Center in Michigan, where she served as project manager and proved integral to successfully establishing the young group as a center of excellence. Dr. Pflueger went on to be the Director of Sales and Marketing at Laserline Inc., as well as the Director of Sales for North America at SPI Lasers. Before accepting her current position at DirectPhotonics America, she also held engineering and marketing positions at SDL/JDSU, where she worked with high power laser diodes and fiber lasers.

Koji SugiokaKoji Sugioka is internationally renowned for his wide-ranging research focuses. A graduate of Japan’s Waseda University, Prof. Sugioka earned his B.S., M.S. Eng. and Prof. Eng. in electronics at the institution. Beginning his career with RIKEN in 1986, Prof. Sugioka is currently a Unit Leader of the RIKEN-SIOM Joint Research Unit at the RIKEN Center for Advanced Photonics. Additionally, Prof. Sugioka has been a guest professor at Tokyo Denki University since 2004 and the Tokyo University of Science since 2006. While his current research interest lies in ultrafast laser processing for microfluidic, optofluidic, microelectronic and optoelectronic applications, his past research fields have varied from laser doping, laser etching and laser surface modification to laser-induced selective metallization, VUV laser processing, microfabrication of transparent materials, and more. The recipient of 11 awards for his research, inventions and contributions to the field of laser microprocessing, Prof. Sugioka also holds 16 licensed patents, has written more than 160 peer-reviewed journal articles, and has presented more than 130 invited talks at international conferences. In addition to his work as a member of the Board of Directors at the Japanese Laser Processing Society (JLPS) and as a Fellow of SPIE, Prof. Sugioka is editor-in-chief of the online Journal of Laser Micro/Nanoengineering (JLMN), is one of the founders of the International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication (LPM) and has served as a Conference Chair, co-chair and committee member at international conferences.