Wilhelm Kaenders is co-founder of TOPTICA Photonics AG, a leading high-tech laser and photonics company, headquartered in Gräfelfing near Munich, Germany.
With currently 250 people the company focuses on laser development and production for sophisticated, high-precision test and measurement tools for industry and academia. Wilhelm directs the company since its start in 1998 and has directed as Vorstand/President the growth from a small start-up to a fully developed international operation including a US operation based out of Rochester, NY. TOPTICA’s core business addresses the international research and emerging industrial application markets. The scientific field of quantum technology, in particular the strongly emerging cold atom and ion physics activities have been using the laser instrumentation developed at TOPTICA, documented in thousands of scientific user papers. Joint activities with the Optical Science Center in Tucson, AZ (Prof. Mansuripur) led to the development of static and dynamic optical disk test equipment. Driven by the print industry, sophisticated laser technology was developed using blue laser diode technology in 2000 for direct structuring of silver and polymer-based printing plates. The development of ultrafast fiber lasers for biophotonics applications and powerful Sodium Guide Star Lasers for astronomical applications opened up other business lines recently.
Wilhelm received a Physics diploma from Bonn University and the International Diploma of Imperial College, London in 1989 for research in atom physics using synchrotron and laser-generated pulsed VUV radiation (inner shell spectroscopy on Yb and Mg). He then finalized a doctorate in Physics at the University of Hannover.
Wilhelm served on the Board of the Optical Society (OSA) as elected Director at Large from 2009-11. Since 2007, he is a member and since 2009 Chairman of the Fachbeirat “LASER. World of Photonics”, an industrial consulting body to the Messe München, Germany.