November 16--More than 500 attendees (400 for the full conference), 288 total presentations (including posters), and 77 vendor exhibitors are all records set at the 25th convening of the International Congress on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics (ICALEO) in Scottsdale, AZ. In a return to the desert after four years, topped off by a President's reception a the famed Taliesin West (Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home), the Laser Institute of America (LIA) outdid themselves with high marks in all categories.
Perhaps it is the refreshing desert air because ILS found most attendees completely satisfied with this year's event. A full program of technical and social events kept attendees on site, a situation that lends itself to networking as evidenced by gatherings around the Doubletree Paradise Valley resort pools and lounge areas.
The highlight of this year's ICALEO was the Arthur L. Schawlow Award given to Dr. Edward A. Metzbower, from the Materials Science and Technology Division of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. Ed Metzbower is an internationally recognized expert in the field of laser welding and his full technical contributions, writings, teachings, and lecturing activities are near legendary. He has been a tireless advocate for high-power laser welding technology within the U.S. government and has generously shared his knowledge throughout the world. He has been a very active supporter of LIA activities; serving in a number of key functions, including the presidency in 2004. His quiet, authoritative demeanor is always welcome at laser materials processing events, and a more worthy recipient of the Schawlow Award would be difficult to find.--DAB