History

Our Managing Director, Gary Thomas, started his career in optics in 1978 as a Trainee Technical Optician for Technical Optics Ltd. In 1981 he moved to Connecticut, USA to join Zygo Corporation where he worked on large optics for Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, NASA and many other prominent organisations. Gary returned to the Isle of Man in 1987 to manage the Optics Fabrication Department for Technical Optics Ltd.

Five years later he founded Quality Laser Optics Ltd. (“QLO”) in a small industrial unit comprising 900 sq. ft production area. The company steadily expanded into an 8600 sq. ft purpose-built property with a team of 16 employees. Customers included Rutherford Labs, Zygo Corp, AWE, Lawrence Livermore Labs, CVI, GSI Darmstadt, BAE Systems, and the University of Nevada. After an approach from CVI Laser Corp to purchase QLO in 2006, he agreed and started a period of non-compete. He then joined Crystran Ltd in January 2012, where he was responsible for developing their capability to manufacture very flat optics in various types of glasses including fused silica and ZERODUR® to better than lambda/20. He was also involved in improving Crystran's ability in manufacturing very flat substrates in materials such as: CaF2, MgF2, SiC, ZnSe, ZnS, Ge. He returned to the Isle of Man in 2013 and formed Island Optics Ltd.


Click on any of the images below to see the full-size photo.
 

 

Picture

2020

2020

Island Optics Christmas do in 2020 (no COVID restrictions on the Isle of Man at this time).

Picture

2016

2016

Back again at Zygo, meeting up with George C Hunter.

Picture

2013

2013

36” lapping machine being prepared to move through into the workshop. 

Picture

2013

2013

Eddie and Bill taking delivery of Island Optics’ first lapping machine. 

Picture

2013

2013

Lapmaster 48” air bearing continuous polishing machine being uncrated.

Picture

2013

2013

Bill taking delivery of our first polishing machine

Picture

2013

2013

The polishing shop - coming together nicely.

Picture

2013

2013

Building work continues apace.

Picture

2013

2013

Starting from scratch - offices and canteen.

Picture

2013

2013

Island Optics' premises after we marked out the empty building with our ideas of the layout for creating our workshops and offices.

Picture

2001

2001

Tony at QLO.

Picture

2001

2001

Gary “networking” at a trade show approx. 20 years ago. 

Picture

2000

2000

Mark at QLO

Picture

1997

1997

Gary at a trade show in the QLO days. Before his hair turned grey!

Picture

1995

1995

Gary Jnr. getting a taste for working in optics at the age of 3!

Picture

Mid 1980s

Mid 1980s

Observing the cladding process on phosphate discs at Zygo.

Picture

Mid 1980s

Mid 1980s

Gary next to the conditioning weight on a 144” continuous polishing machine at Zygo. 

Interested?

We're always happy to discuss our extensive range of products. Contact us on +441624 829435 or use our contact form.