The 2013 Materials Research Society conferred its Outstanding Young Investigator Award to Alexandra Boltasseva, a Purdue University assistant professor, for developing novel materials for advanced plasmonic, metamaterial and transformation optics devices. Asylum Research, an Oxford Instruments company, has hired Florian Johann as an atomic force microscopy (AFM) applications scientist. Johann, based in Mannheim, Germany, will support customers throughout Germany and continental Europe. Founder Armin Luft has stepped down as CEO of Laser 2000 GmbH after leading the company for more than 25 years. Luft was replaced by Dr. Rüdiger Hack, who formerly worked at Trumpf, JDSU and Coherent. Armin Luft (left) and Dr. Rüdiger Hack. The board of Element Six has appointed Walter Hühn as the synthetic diamond company’s new CEO. Formerly, he was executive director of the Advanced Materials and Technologies divisions at the company, which is a member of the De Beers Group.