Eckhard Beyer picks up laser gong

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Dr Eckhard Beyer, professor at the University of Technology Dresden and executive director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Germany, has won the 2008 Arthur L Schawlow Award for his outstanding contributions to laser science and engineering.

Beyer’s accomplishments span more than 20 years. One of his first significant achievements was the development of a rotating hollow needle for beam diagnostics, which is still in production worldwide. In the late 1980s, he achieved several important patents in the field of intelligent process control during laser cutting and welding.

In 1994, Professor Beyer presented the first laser hybrid process for deep penetration welding at ICALEO, and he is a recognised authority in laser hybrid welding, laser coating and novel laser beam techniques.

Professor Beyer became the executive director of the Fraunhofer Institute in 1997, where his leadership has helped to launch the organisation into world-class status as a research and development centre for laser surface engineering and coatings, and laser materials processing. During this year, he was also appointed to professor of laser and surface engineering at the University of Technology at Dresden.

Throughout his career, Beyer served the industry with consistent leadership in educational initiatives. He served as president of the Laser Institute of America (LIA), chaired numerous LIA technical conferences, and implemented new concepts to promote LIA technology.

Nominations for the Arthur L Schawlow Award are open to candidates who have made outstanding contributions to basic and applied research in laser science and engineering. Nominees must be endorsed by at least three prominent individuals in the field. The award will be presented to Professor Beyer at LIA’s International Congress on the Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics (ICALEO) in Temecula, CA on 22 October 2008.