Bo Gu: The 2023 SPIE Maiman Laser Award
The founder, president, and CTO of BOS Photonics since 2012, Bo Gu began his long-standing career at the Northrop Corporation (now Northrop Grumman) in 1989, making numerous seminal contributions to laser technology and the laser industry over the past 30-plus years; he has been pivotal in developing more than 30 commercial lasers and lasers systems for industrial applications, and many of the products he designed are still running in manufacturing facilities around the world today. Among his many achievements, his early work developing and characterizing Ti:saphhire laser crystals contributed directly to the development of solid-state-based ultrafast lasers. He also invented laser resistor trimming using ultrafast lasers; chip-scale laser marking using ultrafast lasers; and the world’s first erasable laser marker. Throughout, Gu played a key role in developing and commercializing fiber laser technology, especially in fiber laser marking and high-power fiber laser cutting, welding, cladding, and additive manufacturing, paving the way for fiber lasers to be widely used in the billion-dollar sheet-metal processing industry.
Gu has been presenting his work at SPIE conferences since 1998. An SPIE Fellow, he has also been active in multiple roles for the Society including as a Prism Awards judge; a member of the Engineering, Science, and Technology Policy and Fellow Selection committees; the co-editor of an Optical Engineering special issue on 3D printing and manufacturing; as a symposium chair for SPIE LASE and SPIE/COS Photonics Asia; and participating on various LASE conference program committees.
“Dr. Gu made many sterling contributions to both the technology of lasers and to their practical applications,” notes former SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs. “His in-depth knowledge of both helped advance many important laser applications, some of which have changed our lives. Since I helped develop the first laser markers for semiconductor wafers back in the early 1980s, I am very familiar with the challenges involved in this and the significant advances made later by Dr. Gu. Marking semiconductor wafers and chips used in ultraclean environments remains very important to this huge industry — and this is only one example of Dr. Gu’s contributions to using the extraordinary properties of lasers across the manufacturing world. I also believe Dr. Gu’s leadership, advocacy, and energy have helped advance the use of lasers: I recall conversations with Ted Maiman in his twilight years, still smarting from the early press about ‘the death ray,’ and then years of the laser being mocked as a ‘solution seeking an application.’ Dr. Gu’s critical work continues to help realize Ted’s aspirations.”
Meet the other 2023 SPIE Society Award recipients.
Read more about Bo Gu and the SPIE Maiman Laser Award.