Hi, I am Alice Sobczak, Laser Technologist and CLSO.
Years ago, I worked at CVI Laser Corporation in Albuquerque, NM and became interested in lasers and optics. When I decided to get my formal education, I attended Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute and earned my Associates Degree in Laser Electro-Optical Technology. I have worked with lasers for over 12 years.
I started out working as a laser technologist at the Z accelerator at Sandia National Labs where I ran the laser that triggered the downline shots. Then I moved on to work for Cymer Laser, Inc. as a Field Service Engineer at the Rio Rancho Intel factory. Eventually, I found my way back to Sandia National Labs where I am currently employed. Now I use lasers to initiate explosives and as a diagnostic tool to examine particle velocities. I also work as the Deputy Laser Safety officer for four departments.
Becoming an LSO and CLSO
One day in 2005 I received a postcard advertising Laser Safety Officer training. I was very interested in laser safety and how it applied to my work as a laser technologist. I talked to my manager and told him that I wanted to get some training and earn my certification. I took some classes with Laser Professionals Inc., and passed the CLSO examination. My manager was happy to let me take over as safety officer in my department. So for the past three years now, I have been the laser safety officer for my group. I especially enjoy calculating the laser hazards, as I like doing the math!
I enjoy my role as LSO and continue to learn more to keep up with the ever-changing world of lasers and their applications.
Getting the CLSO designation has shown my employer that I take the business of laser safety very seriously. It has helped by distinguishing me as the laser safety subject matter expert.