My history in optics
More than 25 years ago, I ran into the problem of concentrating sunlight on a thermal absorber. What seemed to be a simple matter of bending some reflector sheets turned out to require insights into the deep and beautiful theory of thermodynamics of light. In physics, we have several deep and beautiful theories. But thermodynamics of light is different: This is a theory that helps us to understand the limits of what you can and cannot do in illumination optics, from fundamental laws to useful results in just a few calculations. After developing optics for solar energy, two colleagues and I founded and ran a unique venture: an illumination optics research institute providing engineering services. We pioneered what is now widely known as "tailoring": designing freeform surfaces that precisely distribute the light to where it should be. We applied our methods to many actual design projects.
Feeling I should see what it is like to actually make things, I joined OSRAM, the LED and lamp manufacturer, where I made illumination optics work: I educated and coordinated the community of over 100 optical engineers who then knew each other, collaborated with and helped each other, and had a sense of belonging to a diverse, world wide group working in the same field. After applying what I learned at ARRI, the leading maker of cameras and lamp heads for the movie industry, I decided I should go back to being on my own: by helping as many people as I can in as many companies as I can to get their illumination optics right.
I can do, and enjoy doing optical design for illumination, from first-principle-based feasibility studies to fully executed designs with CAD data, simulation results, tolerancing, and mechanical integration. What I enjoy just as much is helping people learn how to do just that themselves: I love to share the insights I gained over the last 25 years, both on fundamental theory and the nuts and bolts of doing actual design.
I can help you get your illumination optics right in several ways: I can help you choose the right direction early on, I can do complete optical design projects for you, I can teach optics to you and your engineers, and I can look over your shoulder while you're doing things on your own.
For optical design work, I rely mostly on LightTools® software. I have known LightTools for over 20 years, from its early days to the full-fledged, versatile illumination engineering, raytracing, and optimization tool it has grown into.
I am also an experienced scientific and numerical software programmer. I speak C++, Matlab, Visual Basic, and more.
My single most important tool, however, is my head.