ORC Seminars 2011

"The Laser Materials Procedure Landscape- Basic Practice and Future Opportunities"

Speaker: Dr. Bill O'Neill

Date: Wednesday 23rd February

Time: 2pm

Venue: Building 53, Seminar Room 4025 A&B


More than ten years have passed since the introduction of the industrial fiber laser.  As a result of this innovation, fiber lasers are slowly displacing low power CO2 lasers and lamp pumped Nd:YAG lasers in wide range of industrial applications. High power multi-kW Yb lasers now dominate welding applications and are finding increasing use in the high value field of laser cutting. New laser architectures, such as the all-fiber Master Oscillator Power Amplifier configurations are now the system of choice of many manufacturers in high volume marking and scribing applications.  The advent of multi-kW single mode Yb lasers are severely testing our process understanding, whilst at the same time pushing the limits of effective motion control systems in cutting, welding, and solidification processes. Laser application specialists are using these new laser capabilities to re-define the laser materials processing landscape, establish record breaking processing, and to smash current productivity records.

This talk will review the current industrial fiber laser materials processing landscape. In particular, we will introduce the physics of a number of important laser based materials processing operations, and indentify the physical limits of such processes when subject to the intense light beams available form the modern industrial fiber laser.  Armed with this knowledge, and at the risk of looking rather silly, we will review the future opportunities for industrial laser technology and process developments from both the standpoint of the laser physicist/designer and the production engineer.


Bill obtained a B.Sc in Applied Physics from the University of Essex in 1985, and  an M.Sc in Laser Physics in 1986.  He then obtained a PhD in high power laser materials interactions from the John Percy Group, Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, in 1990. He was appointed to a Royal Society Research Fellowship at the University of Liverpool, in 1990-4, in order to study the rate-limiting affects of laser induced iron-oxygen combustion reactions. After which he became a lecturer in the Department of Engineering and further developed his interests in high power laser matter interactions.  In 1998 Bill was appointed to a 5 year EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow with a view to carrying out research and development in the field of laser based micro engineering.  In 2001, Bill established one of the first EPSRC Innovative Manufacturing Research Centres that focused on the creation of new manufacturing process capabilities using high power laser technologies.  Bill moved his team and IMRC to the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge in 2003 and is now the Director of the Centre for Industrial Photonics at Cambridge.  He is widely published in the field, a member of a number of government and industrial technical advisory boards, and a Fellow of the Laser Institute of America.


Copyright University of Southampton 2006