AILU Fellowship Award

This award recognises an individual who has made an outstanding lifetime contribution to the industrial use of lasers in the UK. ​ 

The award was introduced in 2021 to replace the AILU Award. The recipient of the Fellowship Award receives AILU Life Membership. One new Fellow is awarded at each Industrial Laser Applications Symposium (ILAS) which takes place every other year. Previous AILU Award winners automatically become AILU Fellows.


2021 AILU Fellowship Award winner

Professor Lin Li, University of Manchester. 

Professor Lin Li from The University of Manchester was awarded the first AILU Fellowship Award during ILAS 2021. Over 35 years, Lin has contributed towards the advancement of laser material processing (LMP), having a huge influence and impact. He has published over 400 journal papers and is the inventor or co-inventor in over 50 patents. A past president of both AILU and LIA, Lin has also worked on research with companies including Rolls Royce and Jaguar Land Rover. He has also supervised more than 60 PhD students and founded several spin-out companies to commercialise the research areas he has developed.

Lin Li’s outstanding achievements and invaluable contributions have long been recognized at home and internationally. He is an elected Fellow of the RAE, Fellow of the LIA and IET. He received the Charles Main Award and Donald Julius Gron Prize from IMechE, the Sir Frank Whittle Award from RAE, the Arthur L. Schawlow award from the LIA, the Wolfson Research Merit Award from Royal Society and the Researcher of the Year medal from The University of Manchester in 2014.


AILU Innovation Award

This is presented to an individual or company (from academia or from industry) who has developed a new method, application, device or product that has enabled a significant advance in laser or applications technology. This new award was introduced at ILAS 2021.


The 2021 AILU Innovation Award Winner

SPI Lasers (now TRUMPF) and was accepted by Dr Jack Gabzdyl (TRUMPF).

Laser welding,  a major industrial application, has at times been limited by management of heat input – particularly in thin section and dissimilar metal joining. SPI Lasers developed a novel proprietary welding process, based on the use of nanosecond pulsed fibre lasers. Operating with high pulse rates and low pulse energy (1 mJ), has enabled a new technique where the weld pool is limited, avoiding the formation of unwanted intermetallic phases. As the spot size is very small (often in the range of 30 microns diameter) the creation of spot or linear welds requires techniques such as spiralling or beam wobbling.

This technique has successfully shown joining of dissimilar bright (reflective) metals like aluminium to copper – and many other combinations of metals have been successfully welded. During the past 3 years, SPI Lasers sold over 5,000 laser sources for this application making it a commercial as well as a technical success.

Jack Gabzdyl of SPI Lasers (not TRUMPF) accepted the award on behalf of the company at ILAS 2021 (online) awards ceremony.


Past Awards  

Honouring pioneers: The AILU Award

See list of previous winners


Encouraging the UK´s young Engineers: The AILU Young UK Laser Engineer’s Prize

See lists of previous winners


Recognising an outstanding ambassador who introduced laser technology to people outside the laser community: The AILU Ambassador Award.

The first recipient of this award in 2019 wasJohn Marshall MBEinventor and holder of the grandfather patent on the use of excimer lasers for refractive corrective eye surgery, as well as the use of diode lasers for treating age-related effects of diabetes and glaucoma.


For outstanding support for AILU: The AILU International Award

The AILU International Award was presented to an individual who provided outstanding support to AILU over many years.

See list of previous winners