On April 21st, the Northern California LIA Chapter hosted 50 industry professionals at San Jose’s very quaint and hospitable Bella Mia Restaurant, for a great evening of networking, good food and to hear Dr. Ken Caldeira talk on climate change and its unfolding impact on the globe.

Ken Caldeira is an atmospheric scientist who works at the Carnegie Institution for Science‘s, Department of Global Ecology. He researches ocean acidification, climate effects of trees, intentional climate modification and interactions in the global carbon/climate system.  Dr. Caldeira’s LIA presentation reviewed natural and man-made contributions to global warming, including scientific and socioeconomic perspectives of various options for dealing with these issues. Ken shared some of his personal experiences and insight to the exciting and direct role he plays in educating government and non-government sectors. For example, he gave us some insight as to an expanded, futuristic role high powered  lasers might play in space for energy generation to earth or to orbiting space craft. So other laser applications might involve nuclear-powered vessels, like navy ships, as potential sources of laser directed energy to land-based PV receptors for power generation needs in remote locations or for emergency situations.

The evening’s presentation was introduced by Mr. Neil Ball – LIA Chapter Chair and by Dr. Tony Hoult who set the evening’s theme by presenting an overview of the role lasers play in PV / green-energy applications.

Great LIA meetings do not solely result from great speaker topics but from great audience participation too. Our guests included technologists and business management members and non-members from San Francisco-based Solar, Semiconductor, Medical Device, Laser,  Safety and  Computer based organizations. We were especially delighted that our Student guests, middle school through college, gained a lot from the presentations as well – “Tomorrow’s innovators are enabled by today’s mentors.”

LIA NorCal wishes to sincerely thank Dr. Caldeira for his contribution to our 2010 meeting and to the guests who brought their interest, appetites and good will to this wonderful event!

We look forward to seeing everyone at the next event. Please send us your ideas on speaker topics directly to Kathleen Pollack (kpollack@laserinstitute.org) at LIA.

LIA Norcal Chapter Chair: Neil Ball, Directed Light
LIA Norcal Chapter Officers: Tony Hoult, IPG Photonics; Milt Vardakis, IPG Photonics; Ken Dzurko, SPI Lasers