School of Graduate Studies

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Queen’s Supported Startup Goes International

Thursday January 18, 2018
By Phil Gaudreau, Senior Communications Officer

Laser Depth Dynamics, founded by Paul Webster (Sc'06, PhD'13) and Roger Bowes (Sc’92) in 2012, has been acquired by a leading developer of high-performance fibre lasers and amplifiers.

Welding is an important manufacturing process across many sectors of today’s global economy – from automotive, to aerospace, medical, and consumer goods. When working on products like cars or pacemakers, where lives could be on the line, it’s important that every component is built as intended. This can be a challenge when spending an extra second per part makes a difference to the bottom line.

Enter Paul Webster (Sc'06, PhD'13) and Roger Bowes (Sc’92). In 2012, the pair worked with Queen’s to found Laser Depth Dynamics (LDD) and commercialize a technology Dr. Webster co-developed with associate professor James Fraser, who teaches physics. The technology, called inline coherent imaging (ICI), allows for direct measurement of weld penetration depth for laser welding. This is done using a near-infrared measurement beam to ensure high quality in real-time.

“The story of our company is one of bringing the right elements together to create success,” says Dr. Webster, LDD’s chief technology officer and co-founder. “We combined the support of a leading university with strong industry connections and the right intellectual property policies and technology transfer capabilities to create an impactful product which reduces waste for companies and improves product quality for consumers.”

Recently, the Kingston-based company was purchased by IPG Photonics Corporation, the world leader in high-performance fibre lasers and amplifiers. The company aims to incorporate LDD’s technology into its laser welding solutions to drive adoption of this advanced technology throughout manufacturing of metal parts. Becoming part of a bigger, international organization will mean even more global exposure for LDD’s products.

“LDD’s weld monitoring systems and accessories significantly enhance IPG’s portfolio of industry-leading beam delivery products and laser welding solutions,” said Felix Stukalin, IPG’s senior vice president of North American operations. “LDD’s ability to monitor weld quality in real time and ensure process consistency is increasingly important within automated production environments.”

Laser Depth Dynamics was initially formed with support from Dr. Webster’s thesis supervisor, Dr. Fraser; the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy; and PARTEQ Innovations, the university’s technology transfer organization that is now part of the Queen’s Office of Partnerships and Innovation. IPG Photonics was also involved from the early days, supplying equipment for the research and in helping LDD find early market potential.

John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research) says success stories like Laser Depth Dynamics demonstrate the value of the research that is conducted at Queen’s.

“This is an example of a research idea, identified and advanced by a student and professor, funded by research grants, and, with support from the university’s technology transfer team, was patented, spun-off as a business, and was successfully commercialized,” says Dr. Fisher. “This story showcases the innovation ecosystem at work here at Queen’s, the important role our Office of Partnerships and Innovation plays in fostering economic growth, and how critical the support of the Ontario government is for our innovation programs. We congratulate the Laser Depth Dynamics team on this exciting news as they become part of a global leader in its field.”

With the purchase, Laser Depth Dynamics will become IPG Photonics (Canada), and will remain in its existing Kingston office location on Railway Street. About half of its employees are Queen’s graduates, and Dr. Webster suggests they may add more Queen’s talent in the future.

IPG Photonics is a global company and the leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance fiber lasers and amplifiers for diverse applications in numerous markets. To learn more about IPG’s purchase of LDD, visit

This article was originally published in the Queen’s Gazette. Reposted with Permission.


Climb for Mental Health

December 11, 2017 – Queen’s University graduate student Shamik Sen (Neuroscience) is climbing a mountain this week to raise awareness and funds for the issue of mental health stigma. Sen left Kingston on December 10 to travel to Tanzania, where he will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.  Sen has created a GoFundMe campaign for his climb, with funds raised to support anti-stigma education at Addiction and Mental Health Services, KFLA (AMHS-KFLA)


Congratulations Colette Steer!

Today we congratulate Colette Steer, a recipient of a Special Recognition Award for Queen’s Staff.  Colette joined the School of Graduate Studies in 2007 and her limitless positive energy, excellent organizational skills, and genuine care for everyone she works with have had a significant impact on Graduate Studies at Queen’s. 


Award winning research on Grad Chat

Last week Chemistry PhD student Caitlin Miron was awared the Mitacs PhD Award for Outstanding Innovation for her work in biochemistry. She broke new ground by discovering a DNA binder that can essentially ‘switch off’ cancer cells and prevent them from spreading. Listen to her interview with CJ the DJ on Grad Chat and find out more about her research.


Caitlin Miron – Recipient of the 2017 Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation (PhD)

Caitlin Miron is the recipient of the 2017 Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation. This award is given to a PhD student who has made a significant achievement in research and development innovation during Mitacs-funded research. Last year, Caitlin received a Mitacs Globalink Research Award which funded a collaboration with Dr. Jean-Louis Mergny at the Institut Européen de Chimie et Biologue in Bordeaux, France. This collaboration was the second of two with Dr. Jean-Louis Mergny, and collectively, these collaborations have not only propelled Caitlin’s PhD thesis forward but also merited the receipt of the Mitacs Outstanding Innovation award. 


New program aims to ‘Flip the Script’ on sexual assault

A new program aimed at providing first-year, female-identified students with the tools to prevent and resist sexual assault is being introduced to the Queen’s community this fall.

An initiative of the Human Rights Office, the Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) sexual assault resistance education program is an evidence-based program developed by University of Windsor professor and researcher, Charlene Senn.  Known on campus as “Flip the Script,” the program has a focus on addressing acquaintance sexual assault.