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Raising the bar yet again with its online course offerings, the Laser Institute of America has developed Laser U — an easy way for laser professionals of all levels of experience to access the best presentations from LIA’s industry-leading conferences and workshops.

Based on cutting-edge sessions from the Lasers for Manufacturing Event® (LME®), Laser Additive Manufacturing(LAM®) Workshop, International Laser Safety Conference (ILSC®) and LIA’s annual ICALEO®conference, Laser U offers a convenient way to learn when travel isn’t an option.

Laser U’s online course modules solve two problems for users, giving them access to up-to-the-minute industry content they might have missed at LIA’s events, and providing the ultimate flexibility to learn at their own pace anywhere in the world.

Once on the Laser U web page, users can search available modules by topic, conference or speaker. Topics range from 3D printing, to drilling, welding, wireless and optical product requirements, and many more.

“Laser U gives you practical education that you can apply in your job,” says LIA Executive Director Peter Baker. “Each module is taught by an expert in the field and can be enjoyed at your home or office.”

As with LIA’s other online courses, the modules of Laser U provide the ultimate in flexible access to the information you want. Users are able to listen to  audio of each speaker’s presentation at their own pace — over the course of several hours, even several days — with the option to follow each slide in order or jump forward or backward as they wish. Several modules allow you to view a preview before ordering. Most modules cost $50, while others are offered for FREE. The Laser U website also includes a FAQ and system requirements page for users, as well as a link to contact customer support. Any demonstrational videos used by the presenters appear in the course, as well.

The brainstorm for the dozens of online modules — with more on the way — came at the highly successful second-annual LME, Baker says.

“The reviews were so positive,” he recalls, “I figured if there were 200 people in the course, there might be as many as 2,000 who would need it and benefit from it — but couldn’t get there for one reason or another.”

Even more important, Baker stresses, is the need to continually educate veteran employees vital to the continued adoption of laser technology in automotive, aerospace, medical, energy and defense applications.

“It has always been clear to me — when I used to design and sell laser systems — that the biggest barrier to the adoption of laser technology is education and training,” he asserts. “We can help manufacturing in this country to adopt laser technology by trying to overcome the barriers for those people who are already in the workforce.” Armed with information from Laser U, he says, online “attendees” can feel more confident interacting with major players in the laser industry and discussing how different lasers and systems can benefit their manufacturing operations.

For further information or to sign up for modules as they become available, visit www.lia.org/laseru.