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Thorlabs Announces Promotion of Peter Fendel to Chief Technology Officer

Peter Fendel

Newton, NJ – June 4, 2021 – Thorlabs, a global manufacturer of photonics equipment, is pleased to announce that Peter Fendel has joined its executive leadership team as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). With a Ph.D. in physics from the Ludwig-Maximillians Universität München, working with Nobel Laureate Ted Hänsch at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, and over 20 years of applicable research and industry experience, including tenures at MenloSystems and Coherent, Peter brings an extensive skillset to the newly created role.

Dr. Fendel officially joined Thorlabs in 2013 as the Director of its Laser Division and successfully oversaw its growth. Among the products released during his tenure, the Laser Division introduced a novel MIR laser-like light source into the market, which was awarded one of SPIE’s 2017 Prism Awards. However, his interactions with Alex Cable, CEO and Founder of Thorlabs, began years earlier when he was a member of Franz Kärtner’s group at MIT. Since that time Peter has worked closely with Alex on a variety of initiatives, including co-founding Idesta Quantum Electronics in 2010, along with Professors Kärtner and Fujimoto from MIT. Thorlabs later acquired the company.

“Peter brings years of both technical and leadership experience to his new role and shares both Alex’s and my vision for Thorlabs,” commented Jennifer Cable, President of Thorlabs. “Together, we intend to live our mission by advancing the development of and our investment in new technologies.”

“I’m deeply humbled by the trust Alex and Jenn are laying in me by appointing me to be Thorlabs’ first CTO, a position which has been unofficially filled until now by no other than Alex himself,” said Peter. “For over 30 years Thorlabs has brought countless innovations to the photonics community, and I’m determined to continue on that path of innovation and growth by pushing Thorlabs into new and emerging markets while at the same time being committed to our core mission of providing the ‘tools of the trade’ for every photonics lab in the world.”

In addition to his role at Thorlabs, Peter is actively involved in the broader photonics community, serving as a member of the OSA Joint Council on Applications as well as a Program Committee Member and Chair for CLEO and other Optics conferences. He is also presently a Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC) Affiliate and has been a lecturer at the Siegman School of Lasers and a judge of the SPIE Startup Challenge. Dr. Fendel’s publications have been cited more than 1200 times, and he holds numerous national and international patents.

About Thorlabs: Thorlabs, a vertically integrated photonics products manufacturer, was founded in 1989 to serve the laser and electro-optics research market. As that market has spawned a multitude of technical innovations, Thorlabs has extended its core competencies in an effort to play an ever-increasing role serving the photonics industry at the research end, as well as the industrial, life science, medical, and defense segments. The organization’s highly integrated and diverse manufacturing assets include semiconductor fabrication of Fabry-Perot, DFB, and VCSEL lasers; fiber towers for drawing both silica and fluoride glass optical fibers; MBE/MOCVD epitaxial wafer growth reactors; extensive glass and metal fabrication facilities; advanced thin film deposition capabilities; and optomechanical and optoelectronic shops.