OIDA VIP Industry Leaders Speed Meetings
Steven Butcher, Director of Marketing, Coherent
Steve has worked in the laser industry since 1979. Shortly after completing a PhD degree in physics from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland he began his career as a laser development engineer at Ferranti, a large military laser company in Scotland. In 1981, he immigrated to the United States spending almost seventeen years at Quantel International/Continuum in a number of technical and marketing roles from product engineer to marketing manager in the scientific YAG laser market. After a short stint at Lightwave Electronics as a sales account manager for industrial DPSS lasers, he joined Coherent (Santa Clara, CA) in 1998 where he now works as a director of marketing in the Research Laser Systems business unit which is primarily focused on ultrafast laser systems for research applications.
Ruth Houbertz, CEO & Managing Director, Multiphoton Optics GmbH, Germany
Dr. Ruth Houbertz is a Physicist, Multiphoton Optics GmbH founder, CEO & Managing Director since 2014, in 2013 CTO. From 2000-2012, at Fraunhofer ISC in different technical and management positions. Worked at Sandia Nat.’l Labs in Livermore (USA). Solid background in hardware, software, processes, materials. Invented more than 100 patents, evaluator and referee for national and international ministries, journals, etc. Nominee for the Best of Industry Award 2018 in the Category Additive Manufacturing, Nominee of the PIC Award 2018 in the Category Photonic Integration, among the 10 best enterprises for the finals of the Industry Award of the Hannover Exhibition 2017, Finalist in the Prism Award 2015 and 2017, Gründerpreis 2016, Cowin Award of Entrepreneurship 2014, Green Photonics Award 2013 Optical Communication, Fraunhofer Award in 2007 among others. Active member in EPIC, IEEE, VDI, Bayern Photonics, OSA/OIDA, SPIE Senior Member, Session Chair since more than one decade in Optical Interconnects and Emerging Technologies at Photonics West, participation in Industrial and Women in Optics Panels, Women in Optics Calendar, invited and contributed talks at international conferences, workshops, and exhibitions.
Zhi M. Liao, LLNL (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), USA
Dr. Zhi M. Liao is a laser physicist at the National Ignition Facility and Photon Science (NIF&PS) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). He joined LLNL in 2001 after graduating from University of Rochester where he obtained his B.S., M.S. and PhD in optical engineering, working under Dr. Govind Agrawal on nonlinear fiber optics. His expertise is in laser-induced optic damage, nonlinear optics, and adaptive optics. He has contributed to many of LLNL’s successful laser projects over the years such as the Fiber Laser Guide Star, Alkali Laser, the Mercury Laser, and NIF. He has authored over 60 publications over the years covering experimental as well as modeling results. He has served as an invited speaker at the Pacific Rim Laser Damage Conference in 2016 as well as a guest lecturer at Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (SIOM) in 2014. He has 3 patents and was also the co-PI for the team that won 2006 R&D award for high-average-power frequency conversion using YCOB crystal. Currently, he is the leading researcher at modeling optic damage and lifetime for NIF.
Dr. Liao also directs many of NIF&PS’s work force development initiatives which includes diversity & inclusion engagement, internship opportunities, and educational outreach programs. In 2014, he was named as a senior member of the Optical Society of America (OSA), an international society for optics and photonics scientists, engineers and educators. Senior member status recognizes members with more than 10 years of significant experience and professional accomplishments or service in their fields. Dr. Liao served as the international program committee for the Pacific Rim Laser Damage conference (2016-2018) as well as the committee member for the OSA’s Optical Material Study Group (2015-2017). Starting in 2018, Dr. Liao will also serve as the Chair of OSA’s Systems & Instrumentation Technical Group.
Mark Tolbert, President, Toptica Photonics, USA
Mark Tolbert joined the TOPTICA group as President in 2006 and has since led the company to unprecedented growth and has created local and national job opportunities. Receiving a degree in Physics from RIT and an MBA from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester, he brings strong engineering and management experience to TOPTICA. He started his career as Director of Sales and Marketing with G-S Plastic Optics, and eventually transitioned into the senior management team with EXFO/Burleigh Instruments. There he developed various OEM and R&D markets for the automation, nano-technology, and biophotonics markets.
, President, Kinetic River, USA
Giacomo Vacca earned his B.A. and M.A. in Physics from Harvard University, and his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University. His dissertation, under the guidance of Nobel Prize winner Bob Laughlin, introduced a new ultrafast optical technique for investigating microscopic fluid phenomena.
Dr. Vacca's career spans the life sciences, in vitro diagnostics, microfluidics, lasers, telecommunications, and the energy sector, including 26 years of experience in research and development and other functional roles. He has set up whole laboratories from scratch, started and led development projects, managed large multifunctional groups, generated intellectual property (40 patents issued, 29 pending) and managed IP portfolios. A breakthrough technology he conceived and developed, Laser Rastering, boosted flow cytometry analysis throughput by a factor of 30. Among the products he helped develop and bring to market are flow cytometers, hematology analyzers, solid-state lasers, and integrated waveguide optical components.
Dr. Vacca has served as an expert witness, including testifying under deposition, in patent invalidity cases and other litigation in the fields of flow cytometry, cell sorting, particle analysis and particle separation.