In Memoriam: Andrei Brunfeld
Andrei Brunfeld, 62, Senior Scientist and Manager of the Optical Division of Xyratex Ltd., passed away on 9 May 2012, following an illness. He was a scientist, engineer, and entrepreneur, an extraordinarily creative and active person, and a very warm outgoing human being.
Dr. Brunfeld started out as a scientist at the Central Institute of Physics in Romania, working in metrology, optics, and fine mechanics. He was probably the first in Eastern Europe to integrate a laser interferometer into a machine tool. After immigrating to Israel, he was a staff member of the Technion - the Israel Institute of Technology - and worked simultaneously in the industry, at ELOP - Electroooptics Industries Ltd., and later at Robomatix Ltd., specializing in optical metrology and inspection. After the founding of DIS - Display Inspection Systems Inc., - he moved to the USA and became its president. He built this company from scratch and turned it into one of the leaders in the field of optical surface inspection for flat-panel and storage-media industries.
Brunfeld pioneered several major optical surface inspection methods, including super-resolution (diffraction analysis), Black Beam interferometry®, and scanning Fabry-Perot interferometry, all implemented in inspection machines installed worldwide. Brunfeld was very well known in the industry; in addition to his day-to-day duties he was active in USDC (United States Display Consortium). He was Chairman of an IDEMA committee for optical inspection of computer discs and was actively involved with the ASC OP Committee on Optics and Optical Instruments, helping to define and publish the first version of the current ANSI standard for optics surface quality. He held 28 patents and had many scientific publications.
Brunfeld was a versatile engineer, with a deep and very intuitive understanding of many disciplines, including optics, mechanics, hydraulics and electronics. He was superb at a system level, able to design and build fully automatic inspection machines, from the intricate design of miniature optical inspection heads down to the last bolt of automatic handling. Above all, he was a team player and a leader, always in front of his troops, igniting everyone with his enthusiasm and wit and supporting others by his knowledge and experience. Such was his professionalism and personality that everyone dealing with him became his personal friend.
Dr. Brunfeld was a senior member of OSA, senior member of SPIE, and a member of ISO, DIS, SEMI, IDEMA, AAS, and OEOSC.
He is mourned by his wife, Angela, his son David, and his friends and colleagues.
This obituary was contributed by Gregory Toker, a colleague of Dr. Brunfeld.