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Laser pioneer Dr. Paul Seiler receives the prestigious Schawlow Award

The Laser Institute of America (LIA) has presented the prestigious Schawlow Award to Dr. Paul Seiler, a former managing director at TRUMPF Laser GmbH, in honor of his outstanding work in the field of industrial laser technology throughout his career. It is regarded as America's highest honor in the field of industrial laser technology. The Schawlow Award marks the culmination of Seiler's achievements and of his contribution to laser technology both in Germany and on the international stage. "The award is a great honor for me", says Seiler, and he thanks the LIA for their accolade. "I've always had a passion for lasers and the opportunities they offer. Over the years, I've often recaptured that feeling of excitement and enthusiasm that thrilled me from the start. I certainly had to overcome plenty of difficulties and setbacks along the way, but that never diminished my passion, it increased it." The award ceremony will take place on October 25, 2017 in Atlanta (USA) during ICALEO 2017 (International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics).

Paul Seiler studied precision engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe. He is regarded as a pioneer in solid-state lasers for industrial use, and from 1992 until 2003 he was the Managing Director of TRUMPF in Schramberg. The laser components system developed by Seiler and his team in 1971 made it possible for the first time to incorporate lasers into machine tools for welding springs automatically in the watchmaking industry. At the 1991 laser trade fair in Munich, Seiler's team presented the first industry-ready 2-kilowatt solid-state laser with an optical laser cable, thereby paving the way for the success of the solid-state laser. It was the optical laser cable that was the key to that success. In contrast to CO2 lasers, solid-state lasers emit light that can be coupled into flexible fiber optics on account of its shorter wavelength. The advantage here is that the laser light is able to reach the workpiece easily and directly, making it much simpler to integrate solid-state lasers into production lines. Optical laser cables make laser systems more economical to use, which ultimately gave them a significant boost in popularity in the early years. Today, solid-state lasers are one of the most successful product lines for TRUMPF. They are by far the most universal and flexible manufacturing tool available.

In the company of Schawlow, Hänsch and Leibinger

The Schawlow Award has been awarded by the Laser Institute of America since 1982, in recognition of outstanding individuals from research and industry whose life's work has helped to advance the fundamental understanding of light-matter interaction. Past recipients have included not only Nobel laureates Prof. Arthur Schawlow, Prof. Theodor Hänsch and Prof. Steven Chu, but also Prof. Reinhart Poprawe of Fraunhofer ILT and distinguished representatives of the industry such as Prof. Berthold Leibinger (TRUMPF) and Valentin Gapontsev (IPG Photonics).

Back in 2003, Seiler was awarded the Baden-Württemberg Business Medal for his outstanding achievements. This marked the conclusion of his professional career. In 2008 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Stuttgart.

Responsible for the content of this press release: TRUMPF GmbH + Co. KG


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