Laseroptik Mourns Loss of Its Founder

The physicist, inventor, and entrepreneur Dr Johannes Ebert passed away on 31 July 2019 in Garbsen, Germany, at the age of 83. He is regarded as a key pioneer of optical thin film technology. Since the early 1970s, he has conducted research at the Technical University of Hannover in the field of coatings for laser optics. With his developments and findings – including an ion source for ion-assisted evaporation which bears his name – he gained recognition worldwide. He collaborated with various research institutes that, using his mirrors and coatings, brought early laser applications to industrial maturity.

Dr Johannes Ebert in 1976 at the Technical University of Hanover, working on an early coating machine of the institute of applied physics (Source: Laseroptik)

Upon the laser’s commercialization, Ebert founded a company, Laseroptik GmbH, based in Garbsen, near Hannover, where he lived. There he demonstrated that his scientific achievements were also economically viable. Showing passion, inventiveness and humanity, and including his first employees – among them his wife Angelika in a leading role – he built a family enterprise that today employs one hundred people and has received multiple awards for its corporate culture.

His innovative and far-sighted mindset and actions meant that, from small beginnings, his life’s work grew into a company with a worldwide reputation. Both of his sons joined the firm, where their first role involved working on specialized coating machines.

In 2007, Ebert handed over the company’s management to his son, Dr Wolfgang Ebert. Until he retired due to ill-health, he remained actively involved in the day-to-day business and was the preferred contact for many laser developers.

Johannes Ebert will be remembered not only for his technical expertise and social awareness, but also for his commitment to the environment and nature conservation. Even at an early stage, he developed his own systems for in-house energy recovery. New company buildings were designed specifically to include breeding sites and habitats for owls, falcons, storks, songbirds, bats, insects, and various amphibians. He introduced his seven grandchildren to the world of science and technology, always adopting patience and a playful hands-on approach that made them adore spending time with him. (Source: Laseroptik)

Link: LASEROPTIK GmbH, Garbsen, Germany

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