Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

February 26, 2020

Photo of Jamie King Jamie King, LLNL and NIF certified laser safety officer.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and NIF & Photon Science certified laser safety officer (CLSO) Jamie King was elected to the Laser Institute’s (LIA) board of directors, expanding his role as an advocate for higher industry safety standards worldwide.

King was voted in by members of the LIA, previously known as the Laser Institute of America. He began his two-year term in January, along with another first-time board member, Constantin Haefner, who recently left NIF to become director of Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT.

The non-profit LIA helps promote innovation, growth, and safe use of lasers. The group also oversees the certification of laser safety officers through the Board of Laser Safety (BLS). King said he plans to use his seat on the organization’s policy-making board to place even more emphasis on safety, especially at a time when more high-power laser facilities are coming online.

“I hope to influence some changes and promote safety more than it is right now within this group,” he said.

King is an acclaimed laser safety expert, with more than 25 years in the field. He joined the Lab as laser safety officer (LSO) at NIF in 2006 after serving in the same role at NASA Ames Research Center and Sandia National Laboratories-California. He became LSO for the entire Lab in 2011.

Last year, he received the LIA’s R. James Rockwell, Jr., Educational Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to laser safety education.

Photo of Jamie King holding R. James Rockwell and BLS Illumination AwardsKing holds the 2019 R. James Rockwell, Jr., Educational Achievement Award (left) and the BLS Illumination Award (right), awarded to LLNL in recognition of an institution, company, or organization that directly employs a certified laser safety officer. Credit: Laser Institute of America

He chairs the Laser Safety Task Group of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Facility Contractors Group (EFCOG) and is LLNL’s representative on the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) Z136, which establishes the U.S. national consensus standards for laser safety.

King has long advocated for creation of a higher safety category to cover controls and safety awareness for the growing number of extremely high-power lasers that are approaching the level of NIF, the world’s largest and most energetic laser. Currently, Class 4 is the highest classification, and King is pushing for creation of a Class 5 laser category.

He joins the LIA’s board at a time the organization has rebranded itself as The Laser Institute to extend its influence on the burgeoning high-power laser industry worldwide.

“We really need to come up with some sort of recommendations and controls for these extremely high lasers because it’s a whole different world,” King said.

King wants to make the level of laser safety training found across all DOE labs a standard for all other laser facilities so that “everyone is being trained to a certain level.”

In the process, he believes LLNL can also improve by learning about the best practices of facilities around the world and “picking the finest of what everybody does.”

King was honored by his election to the LIA board, joining commercial laser industry executives and representatives from various research institutions. The board includes members from Los Alamos National Laboratory, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Tsinghua University, the University of Central Florida, Trumpf Laser, Intel Corp., and GE Global Research.

“In the laser safety world, there’s not a lot of us out there,” he said. “So to be recognized within the community, it’s a pretty big deal.”

—Benny Evangelista

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