Coherent Inc. announced it has established a direct operation in Seoul, Korea. Wooyang Trading Co., Coherent’s distributor in Korea, will still to be responsible for sales to universities and research institutions, but Coherent Korea will now provide industrial sales and all services to Coherent customers there. Coherent Korea: Peter Park, general manager; No.101, Eagle Town, 278-20, Seongsu 2ga-3 dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul; 133-832, South Korea; phone: (82-2) 460-7900. . . . Catherine Brechignac, adjunct professor of physics and a distinguished visiting scholar chair at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), was appointed president of France's Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the largest scientific research organization in Europe. Brechignac was director general of CNRS from 1997-2000. The CNRS and Georgia Tech Lorraine, the school's European campus in Metz, France, have worked together since 1998 when a CNRS lab, GTL-CNRS Telecom, was opened at that campus. They recently formed an international resarch partnership, Unite Mixte Internationale. . . . Georgia Tech is hosting the 30th biannual (and bilingual) Pan-American Convention of Engineers/Union Pan Americana de Asociaciones de Ingenieria (UPADI) Sept. 19-21 at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta. The conference will feature technical congresses and presentations, and plenary sessions on transparency and global ethics, economic development, free trade, sustainability and education. Speakers will include Ciro de Falco, executive vice president, Inter-American Development Bank; Raquel Alfaro, Fund for Fostering Scientific and Technological Research; Carlos Braga, senior advisor, International Trade Department, The World Bank; and Alberto Aleman Zubieta, chief executive officer, Panama Canal Authority. For paper submission guidelines, visit: www.upadi2006.com/english/papers.shtml . . . Synova, a Swiss maker of water jet-guided laser technology, has appointed its first executive management team, effective immediately: Quoc Phong Dang, chief financial officer; Frank Meier, vice president, operations; Martin Achtenhagen, vice president, research and development; and Phil Durrant, vice president, sales and marketing. Dang was formerly a senior consultant at Ernst & Young; Meier was previously a supply chain strategy and development manager in Hewlett-Packard's Global Operations and IT, Supply Chain Integrated Solutions team; Achtenhagen was a senior research associate at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, and was previously a technical manager at JDS Uniphase Corp., where he led a research group developing optical amplifiers; and Durant was sales and marketing director at components manufacturer SAW Components Dresden GmbH. Synova is exhibiting (Booth A3-628) at Semicon Europa, being held this week in Munich.