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04-Feb-2019

LIA to Recognize Robert Thomas with George M. Wilkening Award at ILSC 2019

LIA to Recognize Robert Thomas with George M. Wilkening Award at ILSC 2019 Robert J. Thomas, PhD has been nominated as this year's recipient of the prestigious George M. Wilkening Award. Dr. Thomas will be accepting the award at LIA's International Laser Safety Conference's (ILSC) Awards Luncheon in March 2019.

PR Newswire

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 04, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 04, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Robert J. Thomas, PhD has been nominated as this year's recipient of the prestigious George M. Wilkening Award. Dr. Thomas will be accepting the award at LIA's International Laser Safety Conference's (ILSC) Awards Luncheon in March 2019.

The George M. Wilkening Award is given out biennially and was first handed out in 1997 to William T. Ham. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to laser bioeffects research and biophysics related to the establishment of human exposure limits, safety standards development and education, and applied laser safety. In turn, these achievements increase the wider applications of laser technology in industry, medicine, and everyday life.

This year, LIA pays tribute to Dr. Thomas's contribution to laser safety in bioeffects research and his facilitation of standards production for laser safety. Dr. Thomas has not only been instrumental in the development of human exposure limits (ELs) and optical radiation protection, but also created and maintained the z136.org website.

The online platform maintains a record of events and documents relating to laser safety as established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Committee Z136 (ASC Z136) for the Safe Use of Lasers, of which Dr. Thomas is Chairman. The standards are comprehensive, from exposure limits for the eye and skin and eye protection requirements to safety procedures in a range of work environments from outdoor laser use to laboratory settings.

In his nomination of Dr. Thomas, Bruce Stuck, MS, ScD, former Director of the Ocular Trauma Research Division at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, described Dr. Thomas's z136.org initiative as having "revolutionized the development and publication of consensus documents by the ANSI ASC Z136" while "assuring the transparency and integrity of the consensus process".

Dr. Thomas is also Principal Research Physicist for the Air Force Research Laboratory's Airman Systems Directorate with more than twenty years of national leadership in experimental and theoretical biomedical optics. A lifetime member, Fellow, and past president of LIA, Dr. Thomas has painstakingly devoted his time and energy to enhance expert involvement in standards production and review.

Consultant at Seibersdorf Laboratories Karl Schulmeister, PhD has praised Dr. Thomas for his "rare combination of personal qualities, namely strong leadership, scientific brilliance, honesty, kindness, and confidence". Indeed, this year's George M. Wilkening recipient has displayed both passion and strong moral character in strengthening the field of laser safety that has become the basis for international standards.

LIA is proud to congratulate Dr. Thomas on his nomination and looks forward to recognizing him at ILSC 2019.

SOURCE Laser Institute of America, Inc.

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Last Updated: 04-Feb-2019