Professor Baker received B.Sc.in Physics and Ph.D. in Laser Physics from Manchester University. Postdoctoral research at Manchester was on pulsed iodine photo-dissociation lasers. In 1980, he became a Lecturer in Applied Physics at Hull University, with research on mercury halide and TEA CO2 lasers and magnetic switching circuits for electrical pulse generation. In 1987, he became Senior Lecturer in Physics at Heriot-Watt University allowing research specialisation in both laser physics and laser engineering. He played a leading role in development of scalable lasers with RF discharge excitation, and CO2 planar waveguide and array lasers were pioneered. The work aided the establishment of a currently successful laser manufacturer in the UK. This expertise in the new CO2 laser technology led to applications research on laser drilling of circuit boards, machining of unfired LTCC ceramic laminations and precision micro-machining and polishing of silica optics.
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