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In memoriam: Ofra Kalisky, laser scientist and business manager

23 September 2016

photo of Ofra KaliskySPIE Member Ofra Kalisky, 64, a pioneering scientist who contributed to research and commercial advances in laser photochemistry, electro-optics, nanomaterials and related technologies, died 6 August in Israel.

A researcher, teacher, strategic marketing consultant, and business manager in Israel and the United States, Kalisky managed several startup companies within Israel's technology incubator programs and was the first woman to serve as a business manager for consortium programs. These included Diode and Diode pumped lasers (LESHED), Emerging Dielectric & Conductors Technologies (EDCoT), and Forecasting and Prevention of Bio-fouling phenomena (M.A.I.M.).

Her work on developing optics and photonics products and companies involved expertise in spectroscopy, semiconductors, laser crystals, electronic chemicals, polymers, and additives for plastics and agriculture.

She is the author or coauthor of more than 40 scientific papers and internal business reports, including a 2010 Optical Engineering article on high-power lasers as defensive weapons that she wrote with her husband, SPIE Fellow Yehoshua Kalisky. She was also frequent presenter at SPIE Photonics West in sessions devoted to solid-state lasers and nonlinear optics.

Her latest scientific contributions include topics such as diode-pumped solid-state laser technologies; diode-pumped passively Q-switched lasers and microchip lasers; modelling of Q-switching devices based on Cr4+ doped garnets; and other topics related to technologies for the defense and security industries.

Kalisky, who held research and academic positions at Jerusalem College of Technology (Israel), received a master's degree from Boston University (USA) and her PhD in chemistry and physics from Hebrew University of Jerusalem where she focused on the molecular mechanism and photochemical pathways involved the vision process.

She did her postgraduate work in the Department of Chemical Engineering at University of Rochester (USA).