Göttingen, Germany--Qioptiq board of directors member Professor Gerd Litfin has been awarded the Cross of Merit, First Class, of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by Federal President Christian Wulff.
The award marks the outstanding achievements of the founder and former board chairman of the LINOS Group on behalf of Germany as a center for science and business. It also expresses recognition and respect for his exemplary voluntary work in the social sphere and his extraordinary contribution to developing the next generation of scientists. The medal was presented on October 12, 2011, by Professor Annette Schavan, Federal Minister for Education and Research, at a ceremony in Berlin.
In 2004 Litfin had already been awarded the Cross of Merit with Ribbon by the Federal President for his entrepreneurial work and for establishing the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Göttingen and supporting it over many years.
Litfin was chairman of the board of the LINOS Group until the end of 2006, the foundation stone for which he laid with a management buy-out in 1996. By taking over the companies Steeg & Reuter, Franke-Optik, Gsänger Optoelektronik, and Rodenstock Präzisionsoptik, he built LINOS into a global photonics business. In 2006, the Qioptiq Group took over LINOS; Litfin moved to the board of directors and has been supporting the business and technological development of the company ever since with his experience and scientific expertise.
As a professor at the Leibniz University of Hanover, Litfin has made a crucial contribution to the development of optical technologies and he is regarded as one of the opinion leaders in the photonics industry in Germany. Litfin was co-founder of “Germany’s Agenda in Optical Technologies for the 21st Century," an initiative that sets out to improve the innovative strength and competitiveness of companies in the field of optical technologies. He was also involved in the Photonics 21 platform under the Seventh Research Framework Program of the EU. The Hanover Laser Center, of which Litfin is one of the founding members, grew out of the Leibniz University of Hanover. In Göttingen he played a significant part in the founding of the current Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology at the University for Applied Sciences and Arts. Under his guidance, courses in Industrial Engineering, Precision Mechanical Engineering, and Optical Engineering/Photonics were set up and have been providing Qioptiq and the other technology companies based in Lower Saxony with their next generation of highly qualified staff ever since. In addition, Litfin has worked in an honorary capacity on numerous scientific bodies, such as the Max Planck Society, the German Research Foundation, and the German Physics Association.
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