This year’s International Congress on Applications for Lasers and ElectroOptics (ICALEO), the 34th in the series, attracted a large group of practitionersof advanced laser material processing to Atlanta, supplemented by an unexpected large number of first-time young attendees—many from universities around the world. I believe I heard that 30 countries were represented this year.
Conference General Chairwoman Dr. Silke Pflueger and her supporting session chairman arranged a diversified program spread over several concurrent sessions held over four days. At the opening session introducing the Plenary speakers, she spoke with pride that these invited presenters were all women for the first time. And, gender aside, their talks were on biomedical subjects new to the attendees, but technically challenging, interesting, and thought-provoking since they all concerned non-industrial material applications. I have long lobbied for plenary sessions that deviated from the technical session to be held, allowing attendees to listen to new subjects that were enlightening and, yes, entertaining. My survey indicated that Silke succeeded.
It does not do service to the dozens of papers presented by singling out those that got my attention, but I tried to bounce from one room to another to select the ones that attracted me. Fortunately, Industrial Laser Solutions had five Editorial Advisors in attendance and presenting, so between us we managed to cover most of the sessions. Over the coming year, their views will lead to coverage on the web and in the pages of ILS.
Just a flavor of what was heard that will be covered next year in ILS were lasers used for cutting and machining CFRPs, surface structuring, shock peening, cladding and surface depositions, drilling glass and other brittle materials, ultrafast pulse machining, hybrid welding, joining thermoplastics, welding high-strength steel, additive manufacturing, welding aluminum alloys, and nanomanufacturing.
Summing up what I heard in the halls, additive manufacturing, fiber and UFP lasers, and microprocessing were the hot subjects.