BLS Featured CLSO: Wei-Hsung Wang
1. Who are you?
Wei-Hsung Wang, Ph.D., CHP, CSP, CLSO. I am an associate professor of the Center for Energy Studies at Louisiana State University (LSU). In addition to my teaching and research duties, I serve as Director of LSU’s Radiation Safety Office and am responsible for administering the ionizing and non-ionizing radiation protection programs.
2. What is your educational background?
I received my B.S. in Geosciences from National Taiwan University, M.S. in Environmental Health Engineering from Northwestern University, and Ph.D. in Health Physics from Purdue University.
I am certified by the American Board of Health Physics, the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and the Board of Laser Safety.
3. Where do you work?
Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
4. When did you start working with lasers?
I was asked to perform laser hazard evaluations and maintain an established laser safety program when I started my employment as a senior health physicist at Purdue University’s Radiological and Environmental Management Department. To enhance and update my operational knowledge in applied laser safety, I have attended Advanced Laser Safety Officer and Medical Laser Safety Officer training courses by the Laser Institute of America as well as a Comprehensive Laser Safety Officer course by the Laser Professionals, Inc. The course materials were practical and useful and the instructors of these courses were phenomenal!
5. How did you become the LSO?
I became the LSO simply by my job requirements at Purdue University. The University was committed to maintaining a sound occupational and environmental health and safety program and provided me sufficient funding to implement essential laser hazards control measures. When I left Purdue University and began working at LSU, I developed a comprehensive laser safety program and appointed an LSO with the approval of the LSU’s Radiation Safety Committee.
6. Do you like being the LSO?
As Director of the Radiation Safety Office, I oversee the operation of both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation protection programs at LSU (which means I do not have the LSO title anymore ). However, I continue to serve as a consultant for my laser safety staff and university researchers to provide them necessary administrative and technical support. I still enjoy doing calculations for laser hazards evaluation!
7. How has becoming certified helped/benefited you in your career?
The Board of Laser Safety (BLS) is recognized domestically and internationally as the premier certification body for laser safety professionals. Certification by BLS indicates the desirable credentials, expertise, professionalism, and quality held by the laser safety practitioners. As a Certified Laser Safety Officer (CLSO), I was honored and privileged to co-author the “CLSOs’ Best Practices in Laser Safety” book and made numerous good friends through this 20-month integral collaboration. We had our first reunion at the 2007 International Laser Safety Conference (ILSC) in San Francisco and have been keeping our ritual at the ILSC’s in Reno, San Jose and Orlando. The networking among the CLSO’s family is absolutely fabulous! I strongly recommend that all laser safety professionals become certified, attend the ILSC, and engage in ANSI Z136 committee activities. This has been the best practice to keep me up-to-date and technically competent.