02 Jun 2006
A regular round-up of staff changes within the industry featuring Konarka, eagleyard Photonics, SPI Laser and more.
• Konarka promotes Brabec to Chief Technology Officer
Konarka has promoted Christoph Brabec from director of polymer photovoltaics to chief technology officer. Brabec joined the firm in 2004 as part of Konarka's acquisition of the Siemens Organic Photovoltaic Research Group. At Konarka, Brabec has expanded the company's intellectual property and patent portfolio and made a strong contribution to the firm's relationship with manufacturing partner, KURZ. Prior to his role at Siemens, Brabec worked with Alan Heeger, Konarka's founding scientist and winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, at the University of California, Santa Barbara, US.
• Former NASA inventor joins Aculight
Aculight has named Robert Afzal as its director of technology development. It hopes that the appointment will help the firm grow from an R&D company into a provider of aerospace, defence and medical products. Afzal joins Aculight from Spectra Systems Corporation, a leader in laser marking and product coding, where he was vice president of research and development. Earlier in his career, Afzal held several positions at NASA and won a number of awards including NASA inventor of the year.
• Kneier heads up sales and marketing at eagleyard
Michael Kneier has joined German firm eagleyard Photonics as vice president of sales and marketing. He brings more than 16 years of experience in the optoelectronics industry to the Berlin-based developer of high-power laser diodes. Most recently Kneier was in charge of sales and marketing at u2t Photonics, a supplier of ultrafast photodiodes, where he was instrumental in driving sales growth. Between 1990 and 2000, Kneier held various posts within Siemens and Infineon's optical communications business, rising to the position of director of strategic marketing at Infineon's fibre optics group. He holds an engineering diploma from the Technical University Berlin.
• SPI appoints industry expert to advisory board
High-power fibre laser specialist, SPI Lasers has recruited Bill O'Neill to its technical advisory board. O'Neill has a strong track record within the laser industry and will assist SPI in expanding the use of fibre lasers in high-power applications. He is currently head of the Centre of Industrial Photonics, which is part of Cambridge University's Institute for Manufacturing, and is also non-executive director of Advanced Laser Solutions, UK. Recently, O'Neill was elected director of the Laser Institute of America to help steer and develop worldwide operations.
• Synova recruits executive team to drive growth
Synova, a Swiss firm developing water jet guided laser systems, has appointed its first executive management team. The team consists of Quoc Phong Dang (chief financial officer), Phil Durrant (vice president, sales and marketing), Frank Meier (vice president, operations) and Martin Achtenhagen (vice president, research and development), all of whom report to Synova's CEO, Bernold Richerzhagen.
Dang has more than 10 years of corporate finance experience and was senior consultant at Ernst & Young. Durrant was most recently marketing director at SAW Components Dresden, Germany, where he was responsible for converting a wafer foundry company into an RF components supplier. Meier, a former employee of Hewlett-Packard, has expertise in supply chain strategy, and Achtenhagen was previously a senior research associate at the prestigious Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne.