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Contact Info

Audrey LeGrande
Assistant Director of Alumni
and Student Relations
1072 ECE Building
306 N. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 300-1783


We've created this space to help you stay connected with ECE ILLINOIS. We're sure you'll find it to be a great resource for information, news, and networking.

If you don't see what you need here, or if we can be of assistance in any way, don't hesitate to call us! And, as always, don't be a stranger. Use our online Stay Connected form to let us know what you're up to! Coming to campus? Send us an email.

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Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumni Award (2006)

Leon A. Newman

Leon A. Newman

MSEE ’73, PhD ’76
Vice President
President & General Manager of Coherent-DEOS (Retired)
Chief Scientist Coherent’s CO2 Laser Division (Current)
Coherent, Inc.
Bloomington, Connecticut

Leon Newman was a founder and president of DeMaria ElectroOptics Systems (DEOS), Inc., a world-renowned CO2 laser company that was acquired by Coherent, Inc. in 2001. He led the CO2 Business Unit within Coherent until his retirement from this position in 2006. During this period, the division grew from 50 employees to over 200, and a new factory was built to house the division. Newman is presently a chief scientist of Coherent, a role which permits him to engage in technology and new product development.

In addition to his business accomplishments, Newman has continually contributed to advancing the state-of-the-art of gas laser technology throughout his career and has gained 20 patents as a result. This includes the invention of an RF gas discharge excitation technology that is universally used by CO2 laser industry and the five year development of a Laser Local Oscillator for NASA’s earth orbiting Aura Satellite, which is currently monitoring the chemistry of the earth’s upper atmosphere.

Newman was elected to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering in 2003 for his pioneering contributions to the field of gas lasers and for the founding of a world renowned laser company.