Laser Institute of America presented Professor Reinhart Poprawe, managing director of Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT), the Peter M. Baker Leadership Award during this year’s International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO®) in Atlanta, Georgia, Oct. 22-26.
The award acknowledges individuals who demonstrate outstanding leadership in an organization while significantly benefiting the laser community. It is named after former LIA executive director, Peter M. Baker, who led LIA for almost three decades.
“There is no question that Professor Poprawe richly deserves this award. In our world of lasers, he is a leader on the grand scale, technical, organizational, political and social,” Baker said. “He is a fine gentleman, courteous, thoughtful, generous and funny. I consider it an honor to be his friend.”
Poprawe’s professional expertise includes laser applications, laser additive manufacturing, and photonics in life science. Additionally, he has a great deal of experience in laser development and plasma technology in the realms of process analysis, sensors for laser processes, laser induced plasmas and more.
“The award is from one of the most important laser communities in the world,” Poprawe said. “It is a great honor to receive this award as the first recipient after the original, Mr. Peter Baker himself.”
According to several of his peers, Poprawe has been an important figure within the industry for decades.
“Professor Poprawe has been an important figure here at LIA for years,” said Nat Quick, LIA’s executive director. “He has been an LIA board member since 2001 and he always steps up when it counts most. He served as an LIA president in 2012 and has functioned as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Laser Applications® (JLA) since 2010. He is incredibly generous and exemplifies what it means to be a leader.”
After earning his Physics Ph.D. in Germany, Poprawe worked as the laser-oriented process development department head for Fraunhofer ILT before becoming their managing director. Additionally, he holds the university chair for Laser Technology at the RWTH Aachen University.
“There are so many ingredients for a successful organization,” Poprawe said. “Vision; mission; research and product portfolios; roadmaps; SWOT-analysis; and education of the employees. Industry or even better societal use and implementation of our research results is what we do everything for, especially the development of the demanding competencies in the very fundamentals of Laser Technology and application Physics.”
The Laser Institute of America (LIA) is the professional society for laser applications and safety serving the industrial, educational, medical, research and government communities throughout the world since 1968. www.lia.org, 13501 Ingenuity Drive, Suite 128, Orlando, FL 32826, +1.407.380.1553.