Stefan Günster and Marcus Turowski, employees of Laser Zentrum Hannover (Germany), died on Sunday while hiking in Tucson, Arizona. The two were attending a conference in Tucson. They were hiking in Ventana Canyon with another colleague, and due to the extreme high temperatures in the area, the two men passed away from heat exhaustion. The temperature reached 115F (46C) that day, the third hottest day on record in Tucson.
Günster and Turowski worked in the area of coatings, disk lasers, and laser damage. Each had contributed numerous papers to SPIE meetings in recent years. Günster had been a regular contributor since 1992.
"This loss reminds us that optics and photonics is a relatively small community, and much like a family," said Eugene Arthurs, SPIE CEO. "We will remember their contributions, and I'm sure their colleagues will honor them by building on the important work they did."
Authorities have warned the public to stay inside during the extreme heat. A total of four people have died from heat exhaustion in the Tucson area in separate incidents this week.