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Director of Fraunhofer ILT awarded LIA leadership award

Professor Reinhart Poprawe, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, has been awarded the Laser Institute of America’s ‘Peter M Baker Leadership Award’ at the 36th International Congress on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics (ICALEO) currently taking place in Atlanta, USA. The prize was bestowed by LIA past president Lin Li in front of 300 attendees.

First presented to its namesake last year, the Peter M Baker Leadership Award stands for providing outstanding leadership, significantly enriching the laser community as well as decisively participating in the technological advancement of photonics worldwide. It honours Baker for his special commitment in developing the structure of the Laser Institute of America.

Peter Baker retired from his role as executive director of the LIA earlier this year, after 29 years of service.

On receiving the award Poprawe commented: ‘The Peter M Baker Leadership Award is awarded by one of the most important institutions in the field of laser technology worldwide. It is a great honour for me to receive this award as the first person after Peter M. Baker.’

Poprawe took over the leadership of the Fraunhofer ILT in February 1996; since then he has expanded it into the largest facility for applied research in the field of laser technology in Europe. His particular focus has been on sensibly integrating digital photonic production into national and global macro trends such as Industry 4.0.

Guiding around 800 laser experts and future scientists at the institute, in addition to the associated chairs and the ‘Photonics Cluster’, Poprawe continues to focus on strengthening the photonics location in Aachen while also working towards a stronger global network.

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