IPG Founder Valentin Gapontsev Dies at 82

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Valentin Gapontsev — founder, chairman, and former CEO of IPG Photonics — has died.

“Valentin’s passing is a tremendous loss for the IPG community and the larger photonics world,” said Eugene Scherbakov, IPG Photonics’ CEO. “Valentin’s technical innovations, strategic vision for the capabilities of fiber lasers, and entrepreneurial drive transformed the laser industry and industrial automation to the point where lasers are finally cost-effective, reliable, and effective tools that have mass applications in global industrial production.”

Gapontsev founded IPG Photonics’ predecessor in 1990. He was IPG’s chairman since its founding and its CEO until April 2021. He is the named inventor on over 100 patents and author of over 200 scientific papers. In 2006, Gapontsev was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Industrial Products and Services in New England. In 2009, he was awarded the Arthur L. Schawlow Award by the Laser Institute of America. In 2011, he received the Russian Federation National Award in Science and Technology. He was also a selected fellow of the Optical Society of America (Optica, formerly OSA).

In 2010, SPIE listed Gapontsev as one of 28 “Laser Luminaries” who made substantial contributions to lasers during the 50 years since lasers were invented.

Gapontsev was 82 years old.

Published: October 2021
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