Ray Williamson

Laser/Precision Optics Engineer, with over 45 years of experience in developing and implementing process-engineering initiatives in support of key business strategies. Possesses a unique ability to determine a client’s engineering requirements, propose an optimal approach matching the company’s capabilities, and convey complex engineering issues to technicians in an understandable manner. Technical background includes: optical physics, manufacturing and metrology methods, custom applications engineering, polarization, lens design, system design, quality assurance procedures/management, and technical sales support. Created and implemented an entire quality assurance system consistent with established standards (including ISO 9001), encompassing traceable calibration, documented methods, and continuous improvement while assuring conformance to customer requirements. Voting member of U.S. delegation to ISO, editing and updating ISO Standards documentation.

Additional Strengths

  • Staff/technician training and development

  • Physical and optical metrology methods

  • Forming and leveraging customer alliances

  • Ability to grasp and utilize new technologies

  • Leading MRB and process engineering teams

  • Process analysis, simplification and optimization

  • Quantitative and qualitative analysis and modeling

  • Technical policies, methods, and records documentation

Ray Williamson has helped us with issues in manufacturing, testing, optical design, assembly, and quality. He has served as technical liaison with customers and vendors, guiding us through challenging problems over the phone without ever seeing the optics in question. Working with our management, opticians and sales staff, he has been very responsive, knowledgeable, and helpful. We will be using his services in the future.
— Mel Kantor, President, Tower Optics


Selected Accomplishments

  • Entrusted by senior management with writing, implementing and managing all aspects of a quality system that achieved the rating “best ever seen for a company of this size” by Agilent.

  • Wrote and taught a comprehensive 6-month apprenticeship program for opticians, designed to raise the skill level of 40 new-hires to the skill level of 5-10 year veterans.

  • Successfully trained 160 employees in shop math skills, quality methods, and team problem-solving techniques, resulting in a documented 50% price reduction for non-conformance.

  • Developed and managed an ongoing document-control system encompassing over 50,000 prints. The group maintained a zero released-error rate.

  • Designed and built a technician-friendly instrument for measuring free spectral range of etalons to much less than 1 ppm; and a technician-friendly instrument for measuring retardance of waveplates to better than 50 ppm.

  • Invented an interferometer configuration designed to predict infrared transmitted wavefront of thin, opaque plates using simultaneous visible light reflections from opposite sides.

  • Created and implemented a batch cleaning system capable of preparing 2,000 laser mirrors for thin-film coating in a single run.

  • Designed machine and developed process for polishing 457 mm Φ NaCl windows to λ/10.

  • Composed and formatted all text for general catalog that subsequently won an Excellence Award from the Society for Technical Communication.

  • Achieved proficiency in hands-on experience with full complement of shop machinery and M&TI, creating optics ranging from micro to massive, plano to high-order aspheric, UV to IR, as well as spanning telecom to high power. Materials include a variety of crystals, metals and glasses.

  • Conceived in the late 1980’s, a gas-cooled high-power laser output coupler that subsequently won an “R&D100 award.” This award from R&D Magazine honors the most outstanding new technologies, processes, materials, and software with commercial potential.

  • Wrote the SPIE Field Guide to Optical Fabrication

  • Created and presenting SPIE short course 1169, Optical Manufacturing Fundamentals

  • Wrote and presented over 20 papers to conferences

  • Chaired the SPIE Optical and Manufacturing Conference for over a dozen years



Education and Professional Development


B.S., Physics (Optics Concentration), San Diego State University, San Diego, California

Numerous short courses including:

Elementary and Intermediate Optical Design, Understanding Optical Aberrations, Optical System Layout, Zemax I and II, DWDM Systems and Components, Optomechanical Design, Crosby Quality College, Crosby Master Facilitator Training, Lean Manufacturing, Polarization, Thin Films, Structural and Optical Adhesives, ISO Quality Systems Implementation, ISO 10110 Optical Component Specifications.

Read examples of my writing