In the photonics community as a whole, January 2022 concluded with the largest North American photonics tradeshow, SPIE Photonics West, which returned to its live, in-person setting in San Francisco after its virtual format in March 2021. During this time, Laser Focus World held its annual Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar (also in-person after a virtual 2021), which uniquely covered the laser market and provided attendees with valuable information and insights.
Aside from SPIE Photonics West buzz and happenings, other things of note happened in photonics business—here's a quick rundown in case you missed it.
People on the move
Alluxa (Santa Rosa, CA), which provides optical coatings, optical filters, and thin-film deposition technologies, promoted Amber Czajkowski to director of product management, a role in which she will be responsible for applications and product engineering. Czajkowski joined the company in 2014 as a product line manager.
Precision metrology equipment specialist Mahr (Providence, RI) has appointed Manuel Hüsken as the company’s CEO, and George Schuetz, the company’s director of precision gages, received the 2021 ASQ Hromi Medal for his long-term contributions to the science of metrology. Throughout 2021, the company also added 20 new employees, including multiple strategic new hires such as Christopher Tewfik, director of quality assurance; Regan Jones, area channel manager for the Midwest, North Central, and Western regions; Tucker Rae, district sales manager, Northeast region; and Gail Esker and Tom Locke, who both joined the company’s applications engineering team.
High-power blue laser maker Nuburu (Centennial, CO) promoted Andrew Dodd to vice president of global sales, after having served as the company's North American market development manager since 2019. In his new role, Dodd will oversee and manage worldwide sales, including distribution channels, global forecast, strategic plan, tactical implementation, and sales team growth. His responsibilities will also include creating strategic plans and overseeing their tactical implementation.
Contracts and investments
Gooch & Housego (Ilminster, UK) has been awarded a 2 million Euro contract from the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop the next generation of optical amplifiers that will enable multiple terabit-per-second free-space optical communication (FSOC) links between satellites and ground stations. The project, Project EPOS (Extremely Powerful Optical Sources), will develop two different amplifier systems, one for use terrestrially and one for use in space. The amplifiers will support 25 channels emitting 1000 W (terrestrial) and 100 W (space) of diffraction-limited light in the optical C and L bands.
Hyperspectral imaging systems developer and manufacturer Headwall Photonics (Bolton, MA) has completed a recapitalization led by Arsenal Capital Partners (New York, NY), a private equity firm that specializes in investments in industrial and healthcare companies. The recapitalization was completed in partnership with existing management and ownership, resulting in Arsenal becoming the majority owner. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Teledyne FLIR Defense (Boston, MA), together with its Denmark-based partner Precision Technic Defence Group, have signed a seven-year framework agreement with the Danish Defense Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO) to provide a variety of medium- and long-range surveillance systems for land, maritime, and airborne applications. DALO also has awarded the companies a service and maintenance contract, with potential value estimated to exceed $100 million over the period of performance.