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Heinz Willebrand is the founder and chief technology officer of LightPointe. He studied physics at the University of Muenster and received his MS and Ph.D. from the Institute of Applied Physics in 1988 and 1992, respectively. In 1994, Heinz moved to the United States and held research positions at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, working on several DARPA- and NSF-sponsored projects related to fiber-optics communications and free-space optics. Heinz was also a technical advisor in the Global Telecommunications Management Program at the University of Colorado, where he taught classes in fiber optics and wireless communications technologies.
In 1995, Heinz co-founded Eagle Optoelectronics, Inc., as a small research company with the goal to commercialize fiber optics and free-space optics communication systems. The company attracted research and development funding from several government agencies. In 1998, Heinz spun off LightPointe from Eagle Optoelectronics with the goal to solely focus on the development and commercialization of high-capacity free-space optics systems.
Heinz is well known in the free-space optics and fiber-optics communities. He holds several patents and has been an invited speaker at many conferences covering various technical and business-related aspects of free-space optics. Heinz is considered one of the leading forces behind the recent success of free-space optics in the telecommunication industry.