4 August 2008

Laser Institute of America: Celebrates 40 years of advancing laser technology

For 40 years, the Laser Institute of America (LIA) has been promoting the continued growth of laser applications and their safe use across the globe. LIA was formed in 1968 by a group of academic scientists, developers and engineers who were truly passionate about taking an emerging new laser technology and turning it into a viable industry.

The founding members of LIA were in good company, with laser pioneers such as Dr. Arthur Schawlow and Dr. Theodore H. Maiman among the original board of directors. These first “members” of LIA believed in the importance of sharing new ideas about lasers. This belief, as it remains today, is to promote laser applications and their safe use through education, training and symposia.

Over the years, we have seen advancements in laser applications that our original laser pioneers could have only imagined,” said Peter Baker, Executive Director of LIA. “There has been amazing progress in medical laser applications, as well as the development of more reliable and lower-cost lasers for manufacturing. With this rapid growth came an increased demand for laser safety training.”

Gaining a global perspective has become increasingly important as LIA has expanded in its role as the international society for laser applications and safety. The first International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO®) was held in 1981. From its inception, ICALEO® has focused on laser materials processing and is now viewed as the premier source of technical information in the field. The worldwide initiative continued with the formation of the Pacific International Conference on Lasers and Optics (PICALO) in 2004, which was recently held in Beijing with record-breaking attendance.

The future looks bright for LIA, as laser applications become more versatile and global visibility for the organization increases. Demand from Europe and China continues to rise and is certainly at the forefront of future growth initiatives. For more information visit:

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