The Association of Laser Users (AILU) was established in 1995 as an independent, non-profit making organisation run by and for laser users involved in activities including manufacturing, healthcare, academic and industrial research; as well as suppliers of laser-related products and services. Our current corporate members include leading players in the UK laser materials community.
The aims and objectives of the association are set out in its Memorandum and Articles of Association.
They include, in particular, the fostering of co-operation and collaboration and the dissemination of information, experience and expertise relating to industrial laser technology, laser materials processing; its applications and related technologies.
Dr Jon Blackburn, TWI
From AILU's quarterly magazine The Laser User
Issue 93 Summer 2019
AILU is an organisation I first became aware of around the mid 2000s, when I was a Research Engineer with the University of Manchester, based at TWI, Cambridge. Paul Hilton and Lin Li, both former AILU Presidents, encouraged my involvement, and I’ve been an active member of the Steering Committee since 2013. It still feels a bit surreal to be AILU President. This despite being the Vice President for the past two years, and the AILU tradition of the Vice President succeeding the President. May need to work on my listening skills.
When describing the role to colleagues, I flippantly describe it as ‘Chief Volunteer’, but the reality is very different. The role is an opportunity to provide leadership to the Association, which in turn represents a large, diverse and successful industry sector. Lin has provided a great example of how this can be done, working with Dave, Liz and Cath in the AILU office to ensure a successful two years under his leadership. With the support of Adam Clare (AILU’s Vice President), the Steering Committee Members, and the Early Career Researchers Committee, I’m confident this success can continue.
The overall ambition over the next two years is simply to provide further benefits to AILU members. With this, AILU should continue to prosper, and become increasingly recognised nationally and internationally for its sector building activities. Key goals relate to the new website to improve member engagement, collaboration with other associations (UK and overseas), and initiatives which will support AILU accessing grant funding opportunities to increase its activities. Feedback on other activities/initiatives we should be considering is most welcome.
AILU has a busy few months coming up, organising a workshop on Advanced Laser Fabrication in the Transportation Sector (Belfast 19/09/19), the Annual Job Shop Business Meeting (Oxford 03/10/19) and hosting the Laser Hub at the Advanced Engineering show (NEC 30-31/10/19).
Things move on apace in 2020 - it's AILU's 25th Anniversary which will be celebrated at a special conference, ILAS 2020, held in Daventry on 20th and 21st May. The programme will follow the normal ILAS format and include contributions by special guests who have played key roles in the formation and development of AILU over the years. It promises to be a fantastic event so put it in your diaries!
The organisation of AILU is under the direction of an elected standing committee made up of representatives from the UK industrial laser community. Elections are held annually at the Annual General Meeting. (See Joining the AILU committee and Officers and Committee)
AILU provides a wide range of general services to laser users and suppliers and hosts a number of special interest groups (SIGs) to better support members who have particular interests in common. These include a Job Shop SIG (established in 1995, with 86 members*) for subcontract laser-based engineering companies; a Market Development SIG (established in 2005, with 240 members*) for suppliers of laser-related products and services; a Medical SIG (established in 2007, with 55 members*) for clinicians, manufacturers using lasers for manufacture of medical devices and suppliers of laser-related products and services; and the Micro:Nano SIG, AILU’s newest, launched in mid 2008 at AILU's 10th microprocessing workshop.”
The current activities of AILU include:
Application for membership of AILU is open to the industrial laser community worldwide, and those with an interest in this community and its activities. We currently have approximately 300 members, made up of mainly manufacturing industry including laser job shops (40%), suppliers of laser-related products and services (30%) and research and consultancy organisations (25%).
To find out more about AILU membership click here.
See member benefits to review how membership could benefit you.
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