Executive Board

Dr. Wilhelm Kaenders

Member of Executive Board (CTO)

Being infected by Cold Atom Physics as a PhD student at the Institute of Quantum Optics in Hannover, and being part of the technology of Prof. Hänsch's group at the Max-Planck-Institute in Garching, Dr. Wilhelm Kaenders started a successful business activity with tunable diode laser technology. "Frequency Division" in the early days and "Frequency Combing" today, have started the Passion of Precision and are still the driving force in TOPTICA's extended scientific product range on its way to mature markets. As cofounder of TOPTICA, he serves together with Dr. Thomas Renner and Dr. Thomas Weber as "Vorstand".

Dr. Thomas Renner

Member of Executive Board (CSO)

Thomas Renner has a background in ultrashort laser development and applications in physical chemistry (PhD, University of Munich). He has earned his first commercial merits at Baasel Lasertech, where he started 1995 as group leader for pulsed YAG lasers in R & D. He was later promoted to the head of the Innovation and Marketing department and developed various markets for the laser micro processing department of Rofin/Baasel Lasertech. Dr. Thomas Renner joined TOPTICA in 2005 and has since then left his strong mark in TOPTICA's market approach. He is responsible for the worldwide sales, marketing and product management of TOPTICA.

Dr. Thomas Weber

Member of Executive Board (COO/CFO)

Dr. Thomas Weber started his career under Prof. Herbert Walther using LIDAR technology for environmental measurements before he proceeded with his PhD in high-resolution molecular spectroscopy at TU Munich. After being hired as developing physicist at TECHNOLAS GmbH in 1991 his management skills became quickly obvious resulting in finally becoming CEO of the TECHNOLAS spin-off TuiLaser AG. In 1998 he started TOPTICA Photonics AG as one of the cofounders in a combined management and technical role. Dr. Thomas Weber has built up the optical data storage and subsequently the industrial laser activities at TOPTICA and guides the company together with Dr. Wilhelm Kaenders and Dr. Thomas Renner as "Vorstand".

Management

Mark Tolbert

President TOPTICA Photonics Inc.

With a strong engineering and management background from the University of Rochester, Mark has a degree in Physics and received his MBA from the Simon School of Business. Mark started his career in plastic optics as Director of Sales and Marketing with Germanow-Simon Corporation. His management interests and skills, brought him then to a leading position first within Burleigh and then with EXFO, where he held the position of Director of Business Development, with particular emphasis on the scientific product lines and international business. At EXFO Burleigh Instruments Mark developed various OEM and R&D markets for the automation, nano-technology and biophotonics markets. Mark Tolbert joined the TOPTICA group in 2006.

Dr. Patrick Leisching

Senior Vice President Research & Development

With his roots in ultrashort laser physics at Technical University Munich (Profs. Zinth, Kaiser), PhD in the THz group of Prof. Kurz at RWTH Aachen, first PostDoc position in Paris at the Ecole Polytechnique (Prof. Flytzanis) and developing fiber lasers at Max-Born-Institute Berlin (Prof. Elsässer), Dr. Patrick Leisching has gained his industrial experience as research scientist, project leader and department head in the telecommunication industry with Siemens and later also at Nokia Siemens Networks. Dr. Patrick Leisching joined TOPTICA in March 2010 and he is the driving force for our technology development spanning the full width of the TOPTICA product spectrum.

Dr. Mathias Schindler

Senior Vice President Operations

Dr. Mathias Schindler earned his Diploma and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the RWTH Aachen where he worked on THz spectroscopy with Prof. Kurz, on the deposition of high-k thin films with Prof. Waser and on the development of new bioelectronics sensors with Prof. Offenhäuser at Forschungszentrum Jülich. He started his professional career at Dr. Johannes Heidenhain GmbH developing packaging technologies for electrical and optical components as process engineer. In 2013, Dr. Mathias Schindler became Head of the Electronic Manufacturing department of this world-renowned supplier of high-end measurement equipment. He joined TOPTICA in 2016 with the challenge to guide the company to a new level of volume manufacturing competency, introducing state-of-the art production planning tools and processes.

Dr. Jürgen Stuhler

Vice President Quantum Technologies
Chairman & General Manager TOPTICA Photonics (China)

With the experience and reputation of being a part of the research community for more than 12 years (> 25 reviewed articles), first in Konstanz and then in Firenze and finally at the lecturer level in Stuttgart as atom optics group leader with Prof. T. Pfau, Stuttgart, Dr. Jürgen Stuhler has the background needed to consult and assist not only with the selection of the right laser for your experiment, but also to take a look at the greater picture.

Dr. Manfred Karlowatz

Vice President Global Sales

With his deep knowledge in laser applications, analytical instrumentation and spectroscopy Dr. Manfred Karlowatz is a perfect fit for TOPTICA’s sales team. He received his PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology followed by positions in sales and sales management for TuiLaser AG and later Coherent GmbH. Having joined TOPTICA as OEM sales manager in 2008, Manfred adds profound knowledge and expertise for industrial business to our team.

Dr. Holger Quast

Senior Director Materials & Biophotonics

Holger studied physics and business administration at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. After his PhD in physics from the Technical University Berlin for his work on high-frequency measurement technology using ultrafast lasers, he left academia to start building business based on novel technologies. Next to being involved in several ventures for various markets, Holger was COO and co-founder of the VCSEL specialist VI Systems GmbH in Berlin, and co-founder, COO, and head of business development at the Terahertz imaging specialist SynView GmbH in Bad Homburg. Before Holger joined TOPTICA in October 2019, he had been working for Siemens as Venture Director of the Siemens Technology Accelerator in the area of technology transfer and start-up building. At TOPTICA, Holger uses his experience in successfully bringing technology-driven products to market in his role of Senior Director for Materials and Biophotonics.

Dr. Harald Ellmann

Vice President Global Service

Harald earned his Ph.D. at Stockholm University where he helped to set up Sweden's first laser cooling experiment in order to study cooling dynamics in cesium optical lattices, during which time he gained profound experience in building lasers and their associated electronics. Having joined TOPTICA in 2003 he formed the nucleus of the service department and is now responsible for enabling the global service structure to keep pace with TOPTICA's growth while maintaining the high level of technical competence and responsiveness within the service organization that our customers have grown accustomed to.

Taro Saito

President TOPTICA Photonics KK.

Taro Saito started his career in the financial industry and made many achievements in the fields of retail and wholesale at securities companies. After that, he worked for nearly 20 years at a laser trading company Indeco, mainly working for optical communications and semiconductor applications. He was promoted to director of sales & marketing in 2011.
He established TOPTICA Photonics K.K . in 2016 and has since then successfully expanded business for
scientific and industrial markets in Japan.