Wayne Tompkin Ph.D., was the Head of Optical Technology for OVD Kinegram Corp., which provides sophisticated optical products for the Kurz Group. OVD Kinegram ensures the company’s leadership in diffractive optics and their implementation for the management of light to provide security. Wayne also authored more than 25 papers, and his technical expertise has been recognized in over 400 patents worldwide, including more than 75 American and 70 European patents and patent applications.
Wayne was known, liked and respected in the optical security industry for his conference papers and presentations, which were informative and technical, but always delivered with clarity and humour. Wayne’s worldview was evident early with his choice of fields of study at Kenyon College, where he received his first degree in philosophy and physics, an unusual combination. He went on to the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, achieving his Ph.D. in 1990. He wrote his thesis on degenerate four-wave mixing, also known as real-time holography.He joined Industrial Lasers and Electrical Engineering in Switzerland, where he worked on the development of laser and measurement systems. He moved in 1993 to Landis & Gyr (which changed its name to OVD Kinegram in 1998) where he first worked on machine-readable optical devices, following the company’s introduction of an optical stored value phone card, with a debit function achieved by reading and modifying the optical pattern.
In 1999, he was appointed Head of Optical Technology at OVD Kinegram, which by now was majoring on the KINEGRAM® as a world leading optical security device. The KINEGRAM® became the focus of Wayne’s attention, and he led the development of new optical features for the protection of banknotes, ID documents, and brand protection. Among his contributions to OVD-Kinegram’s portfolio are KINEGRAM®ZERO.ZERO and KINEGRAM VOLUME, the photopolymer Lippmann-type Kinegram for banknotes, which is now used on the Israeli Shekel.
Always an enthusiastic conference supporter, Wayne’s work was not restricted to the laboratory, reflecting his keen sense of the need to be involved with customers and the markets. In 2002, Rudolf van Renesse invited him to join the programme committee for SPIE’s Conference on Counterfeit Deterrence and Optical Security (renamed the Optical Document Security conference in 2008). He was an active and informed member of this committee, and director of the ODS conference since 2008. Wayne particularly will be remembered for his diligence in reading and commenting on the proposed papers, as well as his strong commitment to ensuring high quality conference programs.