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Jenoptik’s Michael Mertin is elected president of Photonics21

13 November 2012

Michael Mertin and Maria Yzuel, Prism Awards 2009
Michael Mertin, shown at the 2009 Prism Awards banquet with then SPIE President Professor María Yzuel (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona), has been elected President of Photonics21.


BRUSSELS, Belgium, and BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- Michael Mertin, President of Jenoptik AG (Jena, Germany) was elected president of Photonics21 by the Board of Stakeholders at a meeting on 13 November in Brussels. His election filled the vacancy left by the resignation of Martin Goetzeler earlier this year.

Mertin has been President and Chairman of the Executive Board of Jenoptik AG since 2007, and is responsible for the entire operational business, as well as strategy and innovations, auditing, data protection, communication, and marketing for the company.

Eugene Arthurs and Michael Mertin
SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs (left)
congratulates Jenoptik President
and CEO Michael Mertin on his
election as president of Photonics21.

"SPIE is delighted with the election of Dr. Mertin, and we extend our congratulations to both Photonics21 and its new president," said SPIE President Professor Eustace Dereniak of the College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona. "We know him well as the leader of one of the most active and engaged Corporate Members of our Society, and know that he brings vision as well as valuable experience to the position. Dr. Mertin has a strong understanding of the importance of the industry-academia collaborations through which new technologies become applications that result in creative solutions to problems across every area of life."

In his introductory address as Photonics21 president, Mertin stressed the organization's support for the EU Commission's Horizon 2020 program, which emphasizes funding for innovation focuses on economic and jobs growth.

"Michael is an excellent choice to coordinate the diverse elements of the European photonics industry in the role of president of Photonics21," said Dr. Eugene Arthurs, SPIE CEO and member of the Photonics21 Board of Stakeholders, from the meeting in Brussels. "His industry acumen and wide experience will be crucial to the transition of Photonics21 to a public-private partnership so as to realize maximum benefits for the photonics community from Horizon 2020."

In the first nine business months of 2012 the Jenoptik Group recorded sales of €423.1 million, up 10.2 percent, while earnings per share rose by 40.5 percent to €0.52. Worldwide employees total over 3,200.

Mertin shared his perspective on the optical technology industry in an SPIE Newsroom interview last year: http://spie.org/x47450.xml.

Mertin was an invited presenter at the Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation in 2011, and an invited speaker for the presentation ceremony honoring Dr. Lothar Späth with the SPIE Visionary Award at the SPIE Europe Optical Metrology congress in Munich in 2009, awarded for his crucial role in the economic development of Jena as an optical center.

Mertin is active in various industry groups. He is a board member of the German high-tech industry association Spectaris, a member of the federal and Thuringian executive committees of the German Council of Economic Advisers, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF) in Jena.

Jenoptik is the lead sponsor of the SPIE Startup Challenge, a business-pitch competition at Photonics West that provides cash awards including a top prize of $10,000 to pre-revenue product presenters.

Mertin studied physics at the RWTH Aachen and received his Doctorate in Engineering at the Fraunhofer Institut für Lasertechnik (FHG-ILT) [Laser Technology] in the field of laser materials processing and surface technology. With the development and responsibility for the Optical Coating Technology and Micro-Structures working group in collaboration with Siemens AG, in addition to his engineering training he gained experience in industrial R&D for new technologies. Mertin later worked for several years in the area of financial consulting where he acquired additional comprehensive knowledge of business administration.

He joined the firm of Carl Zeiss in Oberkochen in July 1996, and began his ten-year career with Zeiss as Head of Technology Coating at the Group's Technology Center. As a member of the management team in 2004 Mertin took over as Head of Research and Development and Technologies of the Eye Care strategic business unit. Following the founding of Carl Zeiss Vision International as a result of the merger with the US company SOLA International Inc., he held the position of Vice President Technology and Processes at that company.

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 225,000 constituents from approximately 150 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional growth, and patent precedent. SPIE provided over $2.7 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2011.


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Amy Nelson
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