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August 26, 2016

Laser Lines

Steve Knight

Meet the team: Photonics’ Steve Knight

Steve Knight is the Sales Director of our busy Photonics Group.

With a Laser Lines’ history stretching back to 1984, Steve has seen a great deal of change within the company and the laser industry itself. Let’s find out more about him.

How did you get into the laser industry?

On leaving university, I was employed as a scientific officer at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, working with the Vulcan laser. From here, I joined Laser Lines as a technical sales engineer for laser markers and worked my way up.

How has your role at Laser Lines evolved?

The biggest change I suppose was switching my focus from laser markers to the more scientific products for which I’m now responsible. Although still dealing with lasers, the technology and the applications are incredibly different.

It’s my job to set and implement the strategy for our photonics products. So this might involve sourcing new products to add to our ever expanding portfolio, working with our team of engineers at a customer site, or establishing close relationships with our customers to ensure we recommend the optimum solution to satisfy their particular needs.

How has the market changed?

The market is very different to when I started at Laser Lines back in 1984, but I would say the main difference is the ease with which customers can source products from overseas.

For customers, this can have some obvious benefits, but the downside is that they might not end up with the right solution for their specific application, with laser manufacturers naturally keen to ‘sell’ their solution as opposed to recommending an alternative from another manufacturer.

The industry experience of the team here at Laser Lines is unparalleled and we pride ourselves on perfectly matching the solution to the customer. It might be that we need to source new products to solve a particular customer problem, but this is where we add real value to our customers, something that I am immensely proud of.

What are the current photonics trends?

We’ve seen a huge growth in Raman spectroscopy, and the growth of fibre lasers looks set to continue, becoming more dominant over the next few years.

We’re in a great position by way of the fact that we offer so many different technologies and we make it our business to stay one step ahead of where the market’s going next, to ensure we have the right mix of solutions for our customers to choose from.

What challenges do your customers face?

One area that I know does concern many of our customers is the seemingly unending cycle of industry consolidation.

The knock-on effect for customers is often less choice, but again, this is where my team and I can add real value, with our impartial, industry-wide knowledge enabling us to point customers in the direction of the best fit solution.

In this industry there are always new technologies to embrace and new applications to consider. One of the best things about the laser industry in general is the pace at which it develops, something which shows no sign of slowing in the foreseeable future, making it an exciting prospect for customers and suppliers alike!

What are your interests outside of work?

Still within the realms of all things scientific, I’m extremely interested in astronomy and am an active member of the Newbury Astronomical Society.

In fact, if anyone is interested in the thoughts and observations of a wannabe astro-imager, you can find me on Twitter.

For more information on how our wide range of photonics products could help your business, take a look at our photonics pages. Steve Knight and his team can be reached on 01295 672588 or   

Category: Photonics
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Oxon OX16 1TH, UK
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