Meet the New President & Board of Directors
By Michelle Williams
LIA’s 2017 President, Paul Denney has been the Senior Laser Applications Engineer within the Automation Division of Lincoln Electric since 2010, where he has focused on furthering laser hybrid capabilities. Since earning his B.S. in Material Science and Engineering and his M.S. in Metallurgy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mr. Denney has gained many years of metal research experience holding positions at Research Department C.F.&I. Steel Corporation, US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Westinghouse R&D Center, Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State, EWI, and most recently, Director of the Laser Applications Laboratory at CCAT.
Throughout his career, Mr. Denney has been involved in multiple societies and is currently a member of the American Society for Metals and the American Welding Society, where he has also served on the C7, C7C and C7D committees. He was the former US Editor for Lasers in Engineering, holds 30 US patents, received two ARL Penn State Technical Contribution Awards in 1989 and 1992, and was bestowed the R&D Top 100 Award in 1997.
In addition to being a member of LIA, Mr. Denney has been heavily involved in the organization since 1993, when he functioned as a Laser Materials Processing (LMP) Conference Co-Chair at ICALEO®. From there, he went on to become the LMP Conference General Chair in 1995 and 1996. When LIA announced the establishment of its Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM®) Workshop, Mr. Denney jumped at the chance to get involved and has been the General and/or Co-Chair of the Workshop since its inception in 2009. On top of his contributions to LIA events, Mr. Denney has served on the Board of Directors from 1997 through 2015, when he joined the Executive Office as LIA’s Secretary in 2015 and went on to be the President Elect in 2016.
As President, Mr. Denney’s main goal this year is to build up LIA. With the retirement of Executive Director Peter Baker, he says that the most important goal is to find the right candidate that will be capable of building on all that Mr. Baker has accomplished in his 28 years with LIA and establish a bright future for the years to come. Mr. Denney also plans to further the efforts of Immediate Past President Lin Li, to expand LIA’s reach internationally. This expansion includes offering laser safety training for international users, holding conferences and workshops worldwide, and increasing international membership. Not only does Mr. Denney want to build on LIA’s international membership, but he wants to reevaluate the current member benefits and improve what LIA can offer to make membership more appealing and accessible to all laser users – both international and domestic.
In his personal life, Mr. Denney enjoys being active either at the gym or rowing his own single scull. He resides in Cleveland, OH, only about a 10 minute walk from Lake Erie, with his wife of 10 years, Liz, who coincidentally he met in a Masters Rowing Club in Columbus, OH. Together, they have a 10 year-old daughter, Mira, who also enjoys the water, as well as their two beloved dogs Zoe and Daphne.
We wish Paul Denney the best of luck in all of his endeavors as this year’s LIA president!
President-Elect Milan Brandt is a professor in Advanced Manufacturing for the School of Engineering, Technical Director Advanced Manufacturing Precinct and Director RMIT Center for Additive Manufacturing, RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Prof. Brandt earned his degree from Macquarie University in Sydney, before moving on to work in the Department of Defense Materials Research Laboratory, CSIRO Division of Manufacturing Technology, and then established the first Industrial Laser Center in Australia. He is also the recipient of a number of awards, the author of over 200 publications, as well as a book on laser additive manufacturing. Prof. Brandt has been involved in LIA for 30 years. He has served on the Board of Directors, multiple organizing committees for ICALEO, LAM and PICALO – including serving as the PICALO General Chair in 2004 and 2006, and is currently a Senior Editor of LIA’s Journal of Laser Applications® (JLA). As President-Elect, it is Prof. Brandt’s goal to increase LIA’s profile and influence both locally and globally, through new workshops and conferences that focus on LIA’s mission of fostering lasers, laser applications and laser safety.
Treasurer Gilbert Haas holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and an A.S. degree in Laser Technology from North Central Technical College. In 1992, Mr. Haas founded Haas Laser Technologies, Inc., which designs and manufactures custom laser beam delivery components, laser beam measurement equipment, and laser systems for industrial applications worldwide. Throughout his career, Mr. Haas has taught, lectured and published numerous papers. He holds several national and international patents in the field of industrial laser applications. In addition to his work in the laser industry, Mr. Haas purchased and repurposed an industrial building in 1999, which now operates under Flanders-Ironia, LLC as a successful industrial building complex. As LIA’s Treasurer, Mr. Haas is eager to utilize his 24 years of business experience along with his career experience in the laser industry, to support and promote all of LIA’s efforts.
Secretary Minlin Zhong is a full-time professor at the School of Materials Science & Engineering of Tsinghua University. He also functions as the Director of the Laser Materials Processing Research Center. He earned his bachelor degree in laser technology from Huazhong University of Science & Technology and his Ph.D. in laser processing from Tsinghua University. Prof. Zhong has been the PI for 19 international cooperation projects, 40 domestic projects – both scientific and industrial – he has published 240 papers in journals, 70 papers in conferences, 18 patents and four book chapters. Prof. Zhong is an editorial member of Light: Science & Applications, Executive Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Chinese Lasers, and a reviewer for numerous international journals. He has helped organize nine national conferences on laser materials processing in China and has been involved with numerous international conferences organized by LIA, OSA and SPIE. His involvement with LIA includes being the PICALO General Chair in 2008, receiving LIA’s Fellow Award in 2010, and serving on the Board of Directors in 2005-2007, 2011-2013 and 2015-17. Presently, he serves as a Senior Editor of LIA’s Journal of Laser Applications® (JLA). As part of LIA’s Executive Office, Prof. Zhong intends to contribute his thirty-plus years of expertise to not only fulfill his responsibilities as Secretary, but to bridge LIA to the laser community in Asia.
Immediate Past 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 2000, Prof. Li became a full-time professor at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) and founded their Laser Processing Research Center, where he is currently the Director. Prof. Li is a co-author of nearly 600 publications in laser processing, more than 340 publications related to laser materials processing and photonic sciences, and holds 47 patents. 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. His extensive international involvement in the laser community includes being a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Past President of the International Academy of Photonics and Laser Engineering, and Vice President of the Association of Industrial Laser Users (AILU). He has also received multiple accolades including the Sir Frank Whittle Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, and the University of Manchester’s Researcher of the Year medal. Prof. Li has held many prominent positions within LIA, including an elected Fellow since 2007, serving on the Board of Directors from 2009-2013, Secretary in 2014, President in 2016, and has given annual presentations at ICALEO since 1986.
2017-2019 Board of Directors
Eckhard Beyer is the Executive Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden, German, which engages in application-oriented research and development in the area of laser and surface technology. He graduated from the University of Technology Darmstadt with a diploma in physics and received his Ph.D. in physical engineering. Additionally, he is a full-time professor of laser and surface technology and Executive Director of the Institute of Manufacturing Technology. “During the term, I would like to act as contact to the German laser community, a contact to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, as well as contribute to the field of laser materials processing in general.” Prof. Beyer has been engaged in the coordination and organization of several international conferences, including ICALEO and LIM. He is also the author of approximately 550 publications and owner of about 65 patents.
Robert Braunschweig is the Managing Director of LASEA US, a position he was appointed to after his company B-Lasers had great success distributing LASEA products. Mr. Braunschweig received his M.S. in Lasers and Photonics from the School for Advanced Processes in Electronics and Optics in Orleans, France. Over the last 20 years, Mr. Braunschweig has held positions at Continuum, Quantel, Dicon FiberOptics, Opotek, High Q Laser and Amplitude Systemes. Through his vast experience in R&D, product development, manufacturing, technical support, sales and business development, he has become an expert in the field, bridging research with industry. It is this extensive experience that will aid Mr. Braunschweig in his goal to “promote LIA’s conferences and encourage new opportunities to educate our community on ultrafast laser processing advances [and] work towards reinvigorating the laser scientific community to broaden exchanges between the industry and new innovators towards LIA’s mission.” Mr. Braunschweig has also co-authored several articles on ultrafast lasers and their applications and has been very active in ICALEO, serving on the organizing committee, participating in scientific review, and giving presentations.
Corey Dunskey is President and Founder of Aeos Consulting, Inc., where he assists technology and program development in laser and equipment companies. He earned his doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and his past industry experience includes Chief Technologist at Concept Laser, Inc., senior management and technical positions at Veeco Instruments, Coherent, Inc. and Electro Scientific Industries, Inc. He has also held positions at NASA and Sandia National Laboratories. On the Board of Directors, Dr. Dunskey’s goal is to “strengthen LIA’s connections to industrial users of lasers and laser systems by helping create, evaluate and distribute laser process information through LIA’s events and Journal of Laser Applications® (JLA). I will also focus on promoting deeper engagement throughout the term with existing members.”
Lucian Hand is President of Altos Photonics, where he has developed the EKSPLA-USA and Light Conversion USA brands. Since 2002, Mr. Hand has been responsible for technical sales, installation, user-training and technical support for lasers, laser systems and opto-mechanical components. With a B.S. in Physics from Arizona State University, he has actively participated in design and development of high-energy lasers, with several reaching notable commercial success. “I intend to promote and support LIA in the pursuit of excellence in education and safety, and ensure that LIA maintains financial health for long-term viability.” Mr. Hand has been active in LIA since 2002, maintaining Altos Photonics’ corporate membership and exhibiting at ICALEO and LME. Additionally, he is a member of the ANSI Z136.8 subcommittee for laser safety in research and development, where he has worked to ensure that the standard is matched to real-world research techniques.
Tracey Johnson has over 13 years of experience in the manufacturing marketing industry, as well as 20 years in tradeshow management. As part of LIA’s Board of Directors, “my intention will be to support the core values and objectives of the Association while injecting new ideas to grow membership, increase door attendance at trade events, and seek opportunities to partner with other organizations to assist LIA in broadening our reach and strengthening our message.” Ms. Johnson’s experience includes four years on the Photoshop World Committee and two years in the Graphic Institute of America, Washington Chapter. Ms. Johnson received a design award by HOW Magazine, the trade show booth Refurbishment Award from Exhibitor Magazine, as well as two Guru awards from the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.
Markus Kogel-Hollacher earned an M.S. degree at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology in 1994 and his M.S. degree in physics two years later from the RWTH Aachen University in Germany. He then joined Precitec Optronik GmbH in Rodgau, Germany. In his position as head of R&D projects department in the Precitec Group, he oversees national and international governmentally funded projects. Dr. Kogel-Hollacher later obtained his Ph.D. at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany in 2008. He has been a member of the LIA since 2002 and recently has served as a jury member of the Innovation Award Laser Technology. “I will continue promoting LIA activities in my daily work. I really like the philosophy of the LIA conferences, bridging gaps between science and industry, and so I want to bring the attractiveness of these events to young scientists and industry representatives.”
John Lopez has been the President Club Lasers et Procédés (CLP) – a French association of industrial laser users – since 2010. He graduated from the school of Physics and Chemistry of Bordeaux in 1993 and received his Ph.D. on laser ablation of polymers at the University of Bordeaux in 1997. He is currently a research engineer for the French National Center for Scientific Research at the University of Bordeaux and is widely known as an expert in laser micromachining. Dr. Lopez is actively involved in the global laser community and is the conference chair of the JNPLI international conference, he is on the board of both the French Photonics (CNOP) and the French national committee for laser safety (CNSO), for which he is a founding member. “I will use my network to promote LIA’s activities in Europe and encourage French photonics industry and academics to join LIA. Furthermore, I will be eager to contribute in organizing joint events with European laser associations, such as AILU, Swissphotonics, Belgium photonics cluster or CLP, in order to build strong and perennial bridges between the United States and European laser communities.”
Reinhart Poprawe holds a M.A. degree in Physics from California State University in Fresno and went on to earn his Ph.D. in Physics in Darmstadt, Germany. Subsequently, he joined the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT) in Aachen in 1985, where he started as head of the Laser Oriented Process Development Department. Since 1996, he has been the Managing Director of Fraunhofer ILT and holds the University Chair for Laser Technology at the RWTH Aachen. Prof. Poprawe was elected as an SME Fellow in 1998, a Fellow of LIA in 2006, and in 2012, he served as LIA President. He also resides on many national and international boards, including chairing the RWTH-International Board. Prof. Poprawe is also the Rectors delegate for China. “During my term I will be committed to work to the improvement of ICALEO, especially the quality, impact and visibility of the Journal of Laser Applications® (JLA). Among others, we should benchmark international strategic programs like PHOTONICS21 (EU), Photonics2020 of BMBF (Germany), five-year plans on Photonics in China, and compare with activities in the US.”
Michael Schmidt is a professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg. He received his diploma in Electrical Engineering and continued to earn his Ph.D. on Process Control for Laser Spot Welds in Electronics Production. Prof. Schmidt’s experience extends beyond the classroom – he is the CEO of Bayerisches Laserzentrum GmbH (blz), where he has been working on a further development of the exchange between academic basic research and industrial application. Prof. Schmidt is also engaged in several academic and economic organizations all over the world, including bayern photonics e.V. in Germany, Bavarian working group – networking research, and SAOT. He successfully furthered the implementation of a Laser Demonstration Center in Saint Petersburg, Russia and cooperates with the National Optics Institute in Quebec, Canada. He is a corporate member of CIRP as well as LIA. In his term on LIA’s Board of Directors, Prof. Schmidt “intends to support the academic and economic cooperation on international levels. Such an interaction will generate synergetic effects and could therefore be beneficial for the further development of laser technology – worldwide.”
Bill Shiner received his B.S., EE and MBA from Northeastern University and is the Senior Marketing Advisor to the CEO of IPG Photonics in Oxford, MA – a manufacturer of fiber lasers and amplifiers sold to multiple markets including the telecomm, industrial, medical, scientific and government sectors. He has published numerous articles and made many presentations on the applications of laser technology. He serves on the Photonics Spectra Editorial Board and is an LIA Fellow. Previously, Mr. Shiner served on committees for LIA’s LAM, LME and ICALEO conferences, LIA’s Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and as a past president in 2007. “LIA has been a very important partner of mine throughout my career in lasers. LIA has assisted in keeping me abreast of the technology, as well as, providing a format to develop personal relationships that have greatly enhanced my success. As a member of the Board of Directors, I will continue to lend my opinion, guidance, support and ideas to assist wherever I can in the growth and success of the Laser Institute of America.”
Robert J. Thomas is a Principal Research Physicist for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Airman Systems Directorate, where he has been a national leader in the areas of experimental and theoretical biomedical optics for the past 22 years. In 1989, he received a B.S. degree in Physics from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, KS and earned his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO in 1994. Dr. Thomas has authored and co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed papers. He is a member of the American Physical Society (APS), the Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and is a lifetime member of LIA. Dr. Thomas is also a Fellow of SPIE and LIA. He supports all of the ASC Z136 technical subcommittees and in his role on the Board of Directors, he plans to continue and “contribute information regarding the development of laser safety standards.” Dr. Thomas has served as an organizer, contributor and session chair at the International Laser Safety Conference (ILSC®). In 2015, he also served as a past president of LIA and with that valuable experience he hopes to “assist the Executive Director and staff in strategic initiatives and activities that will celebrate the 50th year of LIA and set a course for its future.”
2016-2018 Board of Directors
Clive Grafton-Reed, Rolls-Royce plc
John Hunter, LPW Technology, Inc.
Stefan Kaierle, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
Yongfeng Lu, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Eric Mottay, Amplitude Systemes
Robert Mueller, Lasers-at-Work Consulting Ltd.
Andreas Ostendorf, Ruhr-University Bochum
Rajesh Patel, Spectra Physics
Koji Sugioka, RIKEN
2015-2017 Board of Directors
Lutz Aschke, TRUMPF, Inc.
Neil Ball, Directed Light Inc.
Robert Braunschweig, LASEA Inc.
Stephen Capp, LTC Holdings, Inc.
Klaus Löffler, TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH
William O’Neill, University of Cambridge
Henrikki Pantsar, Valoe Corporation
Nathaniel Quick, AppliCote Associates, LLC
Michelle Stock, mlstock consulting
Kunihiko Washio, Paradigm Laser Research Ltd
Michael Woods, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory