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Looking back at the life of IPG founder Dr. Valentin Gapontsev

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-11-14      Origin: Site

In October 2021, Dr. Valentin Gapontsev, "the father of industrial fiber lasers," passed away.

As a friend in the laser industry said: “Many people in the metal cutting and welding processing industry in China may not know his name, but they definitely remember his IPG.” Dr. Valentin P. Gapontsev is the founder, chairman and chairman of IPG Photonics. Former CEO.


Valentin Gapontsev was born in Moscow in 1939. In 1946, he and his family moved to Lviv (the capital of Lviv Oblast, Lviv) in western Ukraine. Dr. Gapontsev studied at Lviv Polytechnic Institute and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and obtained his Ph.D. From 1967 to the early 1990s, he worked at the former Soviet Academy of Sciences as a senior scientist and laboratory director of laser materials physics.

Visionary and knowledgeable to start a company

Dr. Gapontsev has devoted his life to laser technology research. He is not only an outstanding scientist and inventor (with more than 100 patents and published more than 200 scientific papers), he is also a successful entrepreneur.

In 1990, Dr. Gapontsev founded the predecessor of IPG with his expertise in laser materials and optical science. When the output power of fiber lasers was only a few watts, he predicted that high-efficiency high-power fiber lasers would be born in the future. Without business experience and funds, Dr. Gapontsev overcame many difficulties and founded this high-tech company as an academic researcher. He quickly proved that his decision was correct. First, he won a large supply contract from a large European telecommunications equipment manufacturer. Then he opened a technical center and a manufacturing plant in Germany in 1994, and then successively set up in the United States and Italy. factory. When other companies outsourced the development and production of parts and components, he went the other way and created IPG's vertically integrated business model, which can shorten development time, improve results, increase profitability, and better protect intellectual property.

Under his unique strategic leadership, IPG was listed on the Nasdaq Global Market (stock code: IPGP) in 2006 and became a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index in 2018. Today, IPG Photonics has more than 6,000 employees worldwide and has sales offices around the world.


At present, the power of IPG commercial fiber lasers has reached the 10,000 watt level. To a large extent, Dr. Gapontsev realized his prediction in 1990. He created the fiber laser industry, manufactured reliable, cost-effective, and higher-power solid-state lasers, and applied them on a large scale in many fields.

Dedicated to scientific research, fruitful

Dr. Gapontsev has devoted his life to the research and innovation of laser technology, and has repeatedly won many of the highest honors in the industry.

In 1999, the Optical Society of America ("OSA") awarded him the Engineering Excellence Award.

In 2001, Worcester Polytechnic Institute awarded him an honorary doctorate of engineering in recognition of his vision in the emerging field of photonics and the business that his company (IPG) has a strong position in the global market Acuity.

In 2006, he was awarded the New England Ernst & Young (New England Ernst & Young) Industrial Products and Services Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

In 2009, the Laser Institute of America (hereinafter referred to as "LIA") awarded him the Arthur L. Schawlow Award. LIA said that Dr. Gapontsev is "the recognized father of the fiber laser industry today. He pioneered the field in five years of academic work, and is the founder and CEO of a global technology company that continues to lead innovation in the laser industry." .

(In 1982, LIA first awarded the Schawlow Award to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the application of lasers in science, industry, education, or medicine. The award is named after Professor Arthur L. Schawlow, who was awarded the award in 1981. The Nobel Prize in Physics for contributions to the development of laser spectroscopy is LIA’s highest achievement award.)

In 2010, the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) listed Dr. Gapontsev as one of the 28 "laser outstanding figures" who have made significant contributions to lasers since the invention of the laser 50 years ago.

In 2011, he won the Russian Federation State Science and Technology Award for a series of innovative designs and the manufacture of high-quality fiber lasers, fiber backbones and local connection systems. The award was awarded by the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev (Dmitry Medvedev) to Dr. Gapontsev, one of the most outstanding representatives of Russian science and art.

In 2011, OSA awarded Dr. Gapontsev an honorary membership in recognition of his "technical leadership in the development of high-power fiber lasers, as well as his vision and commercial leadership in the commercialization of high-power fiber lasers."

(The title of OSA Honorary Member is awarded to OSA members who have made significant contributions to the development of optics. The constitution of the association stipulates that the number of honorary members shall not exceed 10% of the total number of OSA members.)

The spirit is always there and the deeds last

The coexistence and symbiosis of mankind and technology is a macroscopic necessity, but from a microscopic point of view, the characteristics of technology are always determined by humans. Even now, with his profound knowledge and research on lasers, Dr. Gapontsev's foresight still guides the architecture of a new generation of lasers, the innovation and development of mid-infrared, ultraviolet and ultrafast lasers.

Dr. Gapontsev dedicated his life experience, love and hope for the future to his "child"-IPG. Standing on the shoulders of giants, IPG will continue Dr. Gapontsev’s daring spirit of innovation in the laser business, combining deep material science knowledge, process technology and vertical integration mode, so that lasers will eventually become low-cost, reliable and Effective tools and large-scale applications in global industrial production.

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