Peter G. Thompson, beloved and deeply respected laser technology authority, died following cardiac arrest on January 4th, 2017. At his side, were his wife Pam and sons Lee and Marc. Mr. Thompson was 69 years old.
Mr. Thompson had been technical director for Prima Power Laserdyne, a world-leading manufacturer of industrial laser systems for over 35 years and was recently retired. In a career spanning 40 years, Mr. Thompson was recognized across the world for his expertise in laser processing holding many different senior engineering positions.
Well liked for his affable personality, Mr. Thompson brought leading-edge laser technology and processes to aerospace and industrial manufacturers world-wide. Throughout his career, Mr. Thompson worked with a wide variety of aerospace, automotive and general manufacturers developing and implementing custom laser material processing solutions, trouble-shooting existing laser processes and developing training programs for engineers and system operators.
Among the many ground-breaking and diverse laser processing projects in which he played a role was the introduction of laser drilling to Rolls Royce for its aerospace engine manufacturing. A frequent contributing author to technical publications, Mr. Thompson was a sought after presenter at laser processing conferences worldwide.
Prior to starting his own firm, Mr. Thompson was a senior process engineer for JK Laser, Ltd. for 10 years. Mr. Thompson also held senior engineering positions with Lucas Aerospace, Ltd. and MTE, Ltd. He began his career with Marconi Co., Ltd and was a student apprentice with Compton Parkinson, Ltd., all based in the United Kingdom. Throughout his professional career and retirement, Mr. Thompson enjoyed all forms of motor sports and carpentry. He created many stunning items which his family, friends and associates treasured.
Mr. Thompson was the eldest of three children and was born in Blackpool, England later moving to Southend and later Rugby where he retired. Educated in United Kingdom, Mr. Thompson held engineering degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering.
Speaking of Mr. Thompson’s passing, Terry VanderWert, president of Prima Power Laserdyne stated, “Peter was not only a colleague, but a close personal friend of my family. He spent many days and nights living at our home when he was working in the USA for extended periods. Even today, my wife Joy, our children and grand daughters speak of the great times they had with Peter. My wife often tells the story of frequently picking up Peter at the Minneapolis airport with our 70-pound dog, Ranger, riding along. On one occasion, Ranger was so happy to see Peter when he arrived that he crawled onto his lap and rode that way in the front seat of the car. Peter seemed genuinely honored by the dog’s affection which was a tribute to Peter’s caring and warm personality. The ride together became a regular ritual for both Peter and Ranger.”
Mark Barry, vice president of Prima Power Laserdyne, reflected on the cordial working relationship he had with Mr. Thompson over many years by saying, “Peter was more than a colleague to me and most people who had the pleasure of meeting and working with him. Peter had all the time in the world for people that sincerely requested his help. Even during his too short ‘retirement’ he was available to those seeking his advice and help. His wonderful family and all who knew him in the industry will miss him.”
Funeral services will be held in Rugby, England.