Lechtzer is a privately held Corporation founded by Dr. Harold Lessure in 2007 to develop new automated optical and electronic devices for a variety of markets but particularly the development of specific high sensitivity sensing, detection and monitoring systems. Lechtzer is currently helping to commercialize Optical Gas Detection technologies developed under sponsorship of Natural Gas Utilities (NGUs) through the Operations Technology Development, NFP and the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) formerly the Gas Research Institute. This follows more than 25 years of Optics and Applied Physics R&D conducted by Dr. Lessure for Aerospace, Defense, Energy, Medical and Industrial applications, most recently as a PI and faculty member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon.
Dr. Harold S. Lessure
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Lechtzer’s technology is the product of many years of Optics and Applied Physics research by Dr. Lessure as a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Lessure is a recognized leader in Electrooptics, Magnetooptics and High Temperature Superconductivity with many publications, presentations and patents issued and pending in the area. In 1980, Dr. Lessure produced the pulsed UV laser calibration system for the IMB proton decay detector which was at the time the world’s largest water Cerenkov calorimeter. Some form of this system has been used ever since for the monitoring and calibration of a number of similarly constructed large volume calorimeters for High Energy Physics and Astrophysics research. Subsequently, Dr. Lessure worked at Northrop’s Research and Technology Center (NRTC) in Palos Verdes, CA on precision ellipsometric and optical scattering measurements for laser mirrors. He founded an Optics laboratory for materials characterization and optical limiting at BDM Corporation in McLean VA to support US Govt programs. At Carnegie Mellon, his Ph.D. thesis research in electronic materials produced a technique for measuring the current dependent activation energy U(J) for flux-creep and dissipation in high-Tc superconductors. His research papers have over 600 citations in the technical literature. Dr. Lessure served as the sole Principal Investigator directing work at CMU on several research contracts totaling more than $3.5 million.
Mr. Richard F. Farich
Prior to joining Lechtzer Incorporated, Mr. Farich had been the Founder and long-time Manager of the Westinghouse Science and Technology Optical Fabrication Shop. Mr. Farich was ultimately responsible for all optical fabrication projects at one of the world’s foremost optical fabrication shops during the rise and development of laser optical and semiconductor technology. He personally was responsible for many award winning innovations at Westinghouse and was involved in producing many one-of-a-kind precision optical/mechanical parts. He worked closely with all the top scientists, engineers and technicians who needed any type of precision optical or mechanical process or part fabricated at WSTC. Examples of his work include special processes for preparation of optics in hygroscopic materials, single crystal elements and materials, laser rods and pumping cavities, transducers, AOTFs, and a variety of other precision optical devices. For example, he produced an Integrated Optical Spectrum Analyzer in a lithium niobate substrate nearly the size of a microscope slide whose broad faces had to be flat and parallel and perpendicular to the edge faces to high precision. Not only did all faces have to be excellent optical surfaces, but the end faces had to be chip free (with edges sharp to less than 0.1 micron). Mr. Farich designed and produced and used a custom fixture to successfully polish multiple devices as a batch process.
Mr. Dale M. Matuza
Mr. Matuza came to Lechtzer from Carnegie Mellon where he was a Research Associate working in Dr. Lessure’s group. He is also a Master Optician who took over the role as Prinicpal Optician and Manager of the WSTC Optical Fabrication Shop following Mr. Farich and has a whole series of comparably impressive optical fabrication accomplishments to his credit. Prior to fabricating the optical parts for all spectroscopy work in the Optics Lab a CMU, Mr. Matuza worked on several of the most critical and demanding optical fabrication projects at WSTC, including the development of a technique to produce ultra-smooth surface on Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) for microwave standards. These surfaces were the best ever measured by the Naval Weapons Center at China Lake, CA. Another outstanding accomplishment was the production of procedures to allow the cutting, grinding and polishing of a large multifaceted, three dimensionally folded, acousto-optic delay line that was used as an optical data processing component by the National Security Agency. A photograph of this device was featured on the cover of the Westinghouse research journal “Westinghouse Engineer”. Mr. Matuza also has experience in crystal growth and pulsed laser deposition, fabrication of a single crystal lithium niobate transducer to ultra thin dimensions. He also produced virtually all of the substrate material used by Westinghouse Research for delay lines, resonators, acousto-optic and acousto-electric devices. Mr. Matuza’s program in this area was cited as a model Manufacturing Methods and Techniques (MM&T) program and received mention before the Congressional Armed Services Committee.
Mr. Richard P. Kunkle
Research Associate – Physical Chemistry
Another former member of the Lessure Optics Team at CMU, Mr. Kunkle specializes in Physical Chemistry previously having worked in the area of gas detection and measurement using high temperature solid electrolyte gas sensors at WSTC – Physical Chemisty division. Mr. Kunkle is adept at making physical measurements on gas sensing systems and has been the co-author of 5 patents in such detection and chemical separation technologies. He has been heavily involved in the prototyping, development and testing of the gas sensor and leak detection devices produced.