Laser maker Aculight Corp. of Bothell, Wash., announced this week that Robert Afzal, PhD, formerly director of technology development, has been promoted to vice president of research and development. Prior to joining Aculight a year ago, Afzal was vice president of research and development for Spectra Systems Corp. Previously, he held several positions within NASA, including scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center, director of the Space Lidar Technology Center and chief scientist for Geoscience Laser Altimeter System laser transmitters. Afzal has been awarded/filed patents on seven optical technologies and methods. He has been published in over 20 peer-reviewed journals and presented at over 25 conferences. He holds a PhD in physics from Brown University and a BS in physics from Trinity College. "Rob's experience at developing laser products for the harshest environments combined with his ability to develop teams that provide innovative solutions to our customers' most difficult needs will be critical to Aculight's growth," said Aculight President and CEO Don Rich. The company also announced that it has hired Cheryl DeBoise as CFO. DeBoise joins Aculight from Plymouth Housing Group, where she was responsible for finance, human resources, administration and information technology for the company and 11 related entities. Before that, she was an auditor for Watson & McDonell PLLC and also held positions as a director of finance and regional business manager.