The organisation of AILU is under the direction of an elected standing committee made up of representatives from the UK industrial laser community. Elections are held annually at the Annual General Meeting.


Committee 2023-2025

President: Ric Allott (STFC)


Ric has over 30 years R&D, commercial and business development experience in advanced photonics-based technologies. Between 1995 and 2001, he worked as a beamline scientist in the Central Laser Facility at RAL, and in 2001, joined Exitech Ltd, an innovative manufacturer of highly specialised laser micromachining systems. Between 2006 and 2011 he played a pivotal role in setting up and operating a number of the UK Knowledge Transfer Networks in the photonics and plastic electronics sectors. Following this he joined Polyphotonix a pioneer in OLED technology as Chief Technical Officer with responsibility for setting technical strategy and delivering the companies IP/technology. Since 2012 he has been developing business opportunities and maximising economic impact at STFC and is currently Director of Business Development.



Vice President: Paola De Bono (TWI)

Paola De Bono is Section Manager in the Laser and Sheet Processes Section at TWI Ltd. Paola has over nine years of specific experience in laser processing for micro-scale applications, including the welding of highly reflective metals and applications using dissimilar materials.

Having gained her master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Palermo in Italy, Paola continued her studies with the Italian Engineering Association, becoming a Chartered Engineer. Moving to the UK, Paola studied for an engineering doctorate with Birmingham University, where her investigation focused on the topic of ‘Laser Welding of Copper and Aluminium Alloys for electrical Interconnects’. Originally joining TWI as a Project Leader in 2007, Paola went on to become a Senior Project Leader and then the Team Manager for the Lasers and Sheet Processes group, before becoming the section manager.


Vice President: Richard Carter (Heriot-Watt University)

Richard is an Associate Professor at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh with a specialisation in industrial manufacturing applications of lasers. Recent projects have included: high power beam delivery with novel hollow core fibre optics; micro material processing; microwelding of highly dissimilar materials; the use of robotics to align optical systems and novel beamshaping techniques. His research has led to collaborations with a number of external partners including Renishaw, Leonardo MW, Gooch and Housego, M-Solv, Oxford Lasers, MTC, CPI, University of Bath, University of Manchester, Cranfield University, Cambridge University and the CSIR (India).



Executive Director: Dave MacLellan (Anode Marketing) 

Dave MacLellan has an engineering degree from Manchester University and more than 30 years of industrial experience in design, manufacturing, sales & marketing. In particular, he brings 25 years experience in the laser industry at JK Lasers and Rofin Baasel, working in sales, marketing, applications, training & project management and he has an extensive network of contacts in the laser community. In 2014 he established Anode Marketing, offering marketing skills, content creation for the web, social media experience, digital photography & editing.


There are a maximum of twelve Ordinary Members (3-year term) on the Committee and 6 Co-opted members (1-year term). Each year at the AGM there are four Ordinary Member positions available for election. Ex-Presidents and Founder Members are Honorary Committee Members.


Ordinary Members 2021-2022

Elected until 2026
Nesma Aboulkhair (University of Nottingham, Technical Innovation Institute (UAE))
Chris Peters (UKAEA)
Pratik Shukla (MTC)
Stan Wilford (IPG Photonics)

Elected until 2025
Rachel McBain (Laser Trader)
Jamie Costello (Coherent)
Chris Waters (Micrometric)

Elected until 2024
Sinan Bilgin (SS Laser Solutions)
Cliff Jolliffe (PI)
Danijela Rostohar (HiLASE)
Tian Long See (MTC)

Co-opted until 2023
Tom Chaffer (TRUMPF)
Clive Grafton-Reed (Rolls-Royce)
Tony Jones (Cyan Tec Systems)
Mike Poulter (TRUMPF)

Mike Green (Pro Laser)
John Powell (Laser Expertise)
Malcolm Gower (Imperial College London)


Ex Presidents

1995 – 2003  Bill Steen
2003 – 2004  Tim Weedon
2004 – 2005  Paul Hilton
2005 – 2006  Malcolm Gower
2006 – 2007  Tim Holt
2007 – 2008  Clive Ireland
2008 – 2010  Stewart Williams
2010 – 2011  Paul Hilton
2011 – 2013  Martin Sharp
2013 – 2015  Neil Main
2015 – 2017  Ric Allott
2017 – 2019  Lin Li
2019 – 2021  Jonathan Blackburn
2021 – 2023  Adam Clare

Thinking of joining the AILU Committee?

Each year, together with the advanced notice of the AGM, members are sent invitations to join the committee as ordinary members or as officers of the committee.

Membership of the committee provides opportunities for networking and to influence the way the Association develops. For further information or to express an interest in joining, please contact the Executive Director at any time.