William M. Steen Award

Recognizing Significant Developments in Laser Material Processing

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In furtherance of our vision, “to foster lasers, laser applications, and laser safety, worldwide,” The Laser Institute (LIA®) has the distinct honor and privilege of presenting the William M. Steen Award to institutions (as defined in Eligibility) that have shown significant contribution in the area of laser material processing. For the purposes of this nomination, “lasers” may include traditional or new lasers, light-emitting diodes, and other high-intensity light sources.


Named after an early pioneer in the subject, the William M. Steen Award is annually conferred to a single institution that has successfully demonstrated a significant and innovative development in laser material processing.

Laser Material Processing represents a significant area of growth in modern manufacturing. The LIA established this award to highlight and advocate for the incredible potential of this space. Adjudicated by a distinguished panel of laser industry leaders and pioneers, this award recognizes institutions that have shown promise in achieving such significant innovation.


To qualify for the William M. Steen Award, the recipient shall be an institution – a legal entity including but not limited to commercial and non-commercial businesses, academic and research institutions, and government agencies. Further, the innovative development shall fit at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Application of lasers to a new area (e.g., manufacturing, materials processing, fusion, quantum technology, quantum computing).
  2. Solution to a long-standing problem, either particular or general, using lasers.
  3. Novel application of lasers in medicine, agriculture, and other fields of broader impact.
  4. Development of sensors and detectors for laser diagnostics, monitoring of laser processes, and other related applications such as laser probing of physical, chemical, and biological processes.

Nature of the Award:

The William M. Steen Award is conferred annually at the International Congress on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics (ICALEO®) Awards Ceremony. Upon acceptance of the award, the recipient institution will be granted:

  1. One complimentary full conference registration to ICALEO.
  2. An aural presentation of the award citation at the ICALEO Awards Ceremony.
  3. A ten-minute presentation allocation at the ICALEO Awards Ceremony, customarily given by a C-level executive of the recipient institution.

To get your company’s or laboratory’s idea recognized as one of the leading concepts of the year please submit this application to the LIA.

Previous Steen Award Recipients:

  • 2019 – Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • 2019 – Boss Laser
  • 2019 – Electro-Optics Technology, inc.
  • 2019 – Hitachi
  • 2019 – K-Lab
  • 2019 – Lincoln Electric
  • 2019 – Samsung
  • 2020 – University of Vigo
  • 2020 – National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • 2020 – Precitec Opronik GmbH
  • 2021 – Sensigma
  • 2022 – Synova USA Inc.
  • 2023 – Gentec-EO