Press Releases

Honorary doctorate from the University of Jena for LAYERTEC founder Hartmut Heyer

Awarding of an honorary doctorate to Dipl.-Phys. Hartmut Heyer (in the middle) by the interim head of the university Prof. Dr. Georg Pohnert (left) and the dean of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy Prof. Dr. Ulf Peschel (right)

Mellingen, February 01, 2024

On January 31, 2024, the University of Jena awarded Mr. Hartmut Heyer, founder of LAYERTEC, an honorary doctorate for his impressive life's work. The ceremony took place in the main building of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, Max-Wien-Platz 1, Lecture Hall 1.

Heyer, a visionary entrepreneur and scientist, has made LAYERTEC a leading company in the field of optical laser components. His outstanding work includes the further development of magnetron sputtering technology from research to production maturity and the establishment of a medium-sized company for optical coatings with its own precision optics production.

Heyer's groundbreaking further development of magnetron sputtering technology has not only significantly advanced LAYERTEC, but also the entire production of laser optics. In addition, he integrated competing coating processes, promoted the further development of measurement technology and optical processing machines and strengthened strategic partnerships. His entrepreneurial successes include not only the growth of the company, but also his commitment to a good working atmosphere and employee satisfaction.

After his assistantship at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena and the political change in 1990, Hartmut Heyer founded his own company. The beginnings were humble, as he started in his own garage in Mellingen. Through his tireless efforts, LAYERTEC developed into a global pioneer in the optics industry under his leadership. Today the company employs 400 highly qualified employees.

Like Prof. Dr. Gerhard G. Paulus emphasized in his laudatory speech, honorary doctorates are rarely awarded by the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy. The last award took place six years ago. During the same period, around 200 regular doctorates were awarded, underlining the rarity of honorary doctorates. Particularly noteworthy is the award given to people without a doctorate, a circumstance that has only occurred once since 1945, with the self-taught astronomer Paul O. Ahnert in 1957.

The awarding of an honorary doctorate by the renowned University of Jena recognizes Heyer's extraordinary contribution to science and technology. His achievements have not only strengthened LAYERTEC's market position, but also advanced technological development in the industry.

LAYERTEC company founder Hartmut Heyer awarded the Ernst Abbe Prize

Hartmut Heyer with the Ernst Abbe Prize

Mellingen, November 30, 2022

On November 30, 2022, Hartmut Heyer received the “Ernst Abbe Prize for innovative entrepreneurship” for his life's work, the development of the LAYERTEC company. The company from Mellingen, Germany, has been manufacturing high-precision optics for demanding laser applications for over 30 years for customers all over the world. See the video post here:

The Ernst Abbe Prize is awarded to entrepreneurs for special merit to Thuringia as a location for science and technology. The prize is awarded annually as part of the Thuringian Innovation Prize to entrepreneurs who advance the economy and at the same time take responsibility for their employees. LAYERTEC is proud of this award, which, as Hartmut Heyer emphasizes, “is not only dedicated to him, but to all employees”.

It all started in 1990, shortly after the German reunification. At that time, Hartmut Heyer was coating the first optics in his garage using magnetron sputtering technology, which was still new at the time. In doing so, he laid the foundation for the LAYERTEC company. Starting with optical coatings, an in-house precision optics production was set up early on, so that the entire production of the laser optics and thus full control was guaranteed. The results were so convincing right from the start that the company was able to steadily expand its customer base. LAYERTEC now employs more than 350 people and plans to further expand production. LAYERTEC is therefore well prepared for the future.

LAYERTEC expands the management board

LAYERTEC management board
Hartmut Heyer, Alexander Ancsin

Mellingen, March 31, 2022

On March 1st, 2022, Mr. Alexander Ancsin was appointed to the management board. Mr. Ancsin studied physics at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena and has been working at LAYERTEC GmbH since 1996. He has managed the operational business since 2008. Alexander Ancsin will successfully continue the development of LAYERTEC GmbH together with the founder and managing director Hartmut Heyer.

LAYERTEC GmbH is a medium-sized, family-run company with over 350 employees. The company develops and produces high-end optics in large quantities for well-known laser manufacturers, but also individual pieces for research institutes and universities worldwide. The production includes both the manufacture of fine optics (plane, spherical, cylindrical and aspherical optics) and their coating with modern evaporation and sputtering processes.

LAYERTEC and TRUMPF strike strategic partnership for display industry

Left to right: Sven Köhler (Head of Strategic Development Optics, LAYERTEC), Hartmut Heyer (Executive Director, LAYERTEC), Richard Bannmüller (President and CEO TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH), Thomas Harrer (Head of business unit Optical Systems, TRUMPF), David Renner (Category Manager, TRUMPF)

Mellingen, November 2, 2021

The laser optics manufacturer LAYERTEC and the high-technology company TRUMPF enter into a strategic partnership that will strengthen the competence they can both bring to the display industry.

The alliance will see TRUMPF invest in a broad range of machinery for the manufacture of large optical components. Some of this machinery has been acquired from optics specialist Berliner Glas. These large optical components are used in the latest laser systems from TRUMPF, which are designed for, in particular, the production of OLED displays. “LAYERTEC is a highly innovative company and has been a dependable partner and supplier to TRUMPF for a number of years now,” says Christian Schmitz, member of the group management board at TRUMPF and responsible for the Laser Technology business division. “This strategic partnership will consolidate our technological leadership in the laser industry. It increases our autonomy and therefore strengthens our market position.”

LAYERTEC is based in Mellingen, a town near Jena in Thuringia, and currently has around 330 employees. “This new machinery will enable us to expand our manufacturing operations so that we can produce even larger optics of the kind that TRUMPF uses in its systems. Our cooperation with TRUMPF is going to intensify, and we both expect it to generate even more synergies in the future,” says Hartmut Heyer, executive director of LAYERTEC.

TRUMPF and LAYERTEC will successively commission the new machinery at the Mellingen-based optics specialist. TRUMPF will contribute machinery, machine tools and processes to the partnership; LAYERTEC its manufacturing expertise in the field of precision optics, thereby securing the production of large optical components for TRUMPF laser systems.

“The display industry is a strategically important market for TRUMPF. This is a partnership in a highly dynamic field with big growth potential. It will therefore increase our independence from global market developments,” says Richard Bannmüller, President and CEO TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH.

The two companies have agreed not to disclose the volume of investment in machinery for the production of large optics.