Innovators in the field of optics and photonics were recognized last night at the CLEO: 2015 International Year of Light Celebration and Awards Ceremony. The event featured awards from the IEEE Photonics Society, Laser Focus World magazine and The Optical Society. In addition, the crowd was treated to keynote speeches by Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Shuji Nakamura, and 2015 European Science of Light Winner, Dr. Miles Padgett.
"The very idea of having an International Year of Light plenary came up during a planning meeting at CLEO: 2009. It came after The Optical Society's announcement of LaserFest to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first laser at events throughout 2010, including CLEO," said Dr. Peter Smowton, CLEO 2015 general chair and director of research, Cardiff University. "This International Year has brought together over 100 stakeholder organizations in 85 countries, including scientific societies and unions, educational institutions, technology platforms, non-profit organizations and private sector partners. IYL 2015 programs will and are promoting improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world."
All the nuclear power plants in Japan have stopped operation, but before the March 2011 tsunami, 30% of the total electricity generation had been supplied by nuclear power plants. It is predicted that by 2020, penetration of the LED lighting market in Japan will be more than 70%, by which consumption of electricity can be reduced by 7%. Dr. Shuji Nakamura, University of California Santa Barbara, USA and Nobel Prize recipient in Physics 2014, shared his quest for more energy-efficient lighting sources.
That light travels in straight lines is a statement of the obvious. But within light beams, energy and momentum can twist and twirl, carrying angular momentum that can spin particles, encode information and test quantum mechanics. Dr. Miles Padgett, Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, wrapped up the CLEO: 2015 plenary presentations with his captivating presentation entitled "Light's Twist."
Three Market Focus sessions were held on Wednesday, including a product presentation from the Laser Focus World Innovation Award winners.
"Precision Manufacturing Using Ultrafast Lasers," moderated by Michael Mielke, program manager, Micro Processing TRUMPF, Inc., USA, explored the trade-offs between using ultrafast lasers versus conventional tools for high volume, commercial product manufacturing.
The session featured short presentations by industry leaders and explored the economic advantages of using ultrafast lasers in a factory setting. Speakers discussed how to identify the right type of laser source and workstation for specific applications and the overall benefits of using ultrafast lasers over conventional ones.
In addition to Mielke, featured speakers during the session included Mathew Rekow, applications engineering manager, Electro Scientific Industries, Inc.; Herman Chui, senior director of product marketing, Spectra-Physics; and Magnus Bengtsson, director of strategic marketing, Coherent.
The last session of the day was an "Optics and Photonics Market Overview," moderated by Tom Hausken, senior industry advisor, OIDA.
The session provided an overview of the global photonics market as well as some deeper detail on several niche areas including industrial and scientific lasers and instrumentation. Panelists presented recent market data before taking questions from the audience on the future of the optics market.
"The market has recovered from a downturn in 2012, following the larger one in 2009, and 2014 achieved a new record of $480 billion," stated Hausken. "The $480 billion includes $200 billion in enabled products, $182 billion of display modules, and $97 billion of other components with a forecast for 2015. With a moderate 6% growth, this indicates a continuing recovery and is relatively strong for such a sizable industry."
In addition to Hausken, panelists included Alexis Mendez, president, MCH Engineering, LLC; Allen Nogee, senior analyst, Laser practice, Strategies Unlimited; and Shonika Vijay, Lighting Analyst, Strategies Unlimited.