Coherent Scotland

Coherent Scotland’s multinational workforce researches, designs and manufactures lasers for a range of applications. Vice President and General Manager Chris Dorman tells us about the company and what it’s like to work for a leading laser provider.

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At Coherent we produce lasers for scientific, commercial and industrial use. These are complex pieces of equipment, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The three products we focus on are multi-photonimaging, deep UV and industrial picosecond lasers.

Our parent company is one of the world’s leading laser providers, headquartered in California.  And our Scottish operation is equally as impressive - a fully self-contained business unit so there’s opportunity to work in our research and development, design and manufacturing teams.

We need specialised skills

Our 110 employees work together in an open-plan office.  We’re the flagship site and our approach is to be very inclusive communicating between all the different groups - from engineering to finance and marketing.

We’re currently looking for people with very high skill levels. We have 19 PhD-level physicists, for example. Even on the manufacturing side, the majority of people who build lasers have degrees in optoelectronics.

A talented international team

We have very talented international staff from as near as England and as far as Germany, Italy, France and China.  It’s great because each person brings something completely new to the team.

One of our newest employees is Iacopo Tempra from Italy.  He’s very approachable and works exceptionally well as a Laser Systems Engineer as part of our production team. His technological skills and knowledge are a great asset to Coherent.

Scotland – a centre for optoelectronics

The expertise in Scotland is globally significant.  In Scotland you’re working for one of the big centres for optoelectronics alongside California and Germany.

There are at least five Scottish universities with strong expertise. In fact, Coherent Scotland was originally a spin-out from Strathclyde University.

There’s a vibrant eco-system of laser and optoelectronics companies in Scotland. And if you have the skills and talent, you can move between them.

We’re all active in that community – I’m a visiting professor at Strathclyde University, and chair the Scottish Optoelectronics Association.

It’s an exciting time to work in this area.  Lasers are both displacing other technology and developing new applications – so there’s very strong growth. We’re confident this success will continue along new job opportunities.