Mark Zediker


For the invention of the world's first industrial semiconductor laser, for pioneering contributions to the design and development of high-power laser systems for commercial applications ranging from materials processing to manufacturing to mining, and for entrepreneurial leadership that has fostered technology transfer and economic growth in the United States.

Founder and CEO NUBURU, Inc.

  • BS, 1978, Engineering Physics, University of Illinois
  • MS, 1983, Nuclear and Plasma Engineering, University of Illinois
  • PhD, 1984, Nuclear and Plasma Engineering, University of Illinois

As the chief executive officer and co-founder of NUBURU, Inc., Mark Zediker leads the invention and manufacturing of the world’s first high-power blue laser. 

Mark began his career at McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis in 1983, where he worked on laser communication systems and laser weapon systems. Here he developed a thorough understanding of diode laser systems, diode pumped lasers, and laser communications methods. When McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing in 1997, the opportunity arose to expand upon diode laser technology.

In 1998, Mark started his first laser company, Nuvonyx, Inc., which is a provider of high-power laser diode components, arrays, and industrial laser systems for materials processing and defense applications. Mark was responsible for raising funds from corporate sponsors, venture capitalists, and government sources. He developed plans for business, marketing, hiring, personnel, acquisitions, and technology development. Nuvonyx, Inc. had 100 percent revenue growth annually over a five-year period. The prosperity of the organization led to the sale of two divisions: Nuvonyx Europe to Quantel and Nuvonyx to Coherent.

Mark started Foro Energy in 2009, which commercializes the application of high-power lasers for the oil, natural gas, geothermal, and mining industries. In 2010, Mark’s team received a $9.1 million Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy grant to develop a high-power laser drilling system for geothermal applications.

In 2015, Mark founded NUBURU, Inc., his third company. NUBURU developed the first-to-market class of high-power, high-performance blue lasers that led the transformation to a world of high-speed, high-quality metal machining and processing. The AO-150 is NUBURU's first product, and it is a finalist for this year's PRISM Award because of its advancement in using visible lasers for welding.

Mark is a member of the University of Illinois Physics Advisory Board where he helps with strategic development for the department. He collaborated with Illinois Professor J.J. Coleman and his students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to write and publish more than a dozen papers between 2001 and 2004. He has edited 16 conference books and published more than 200 papers and articles. Mark has authored 70 patents and has 20 additional patents pending. Mark is also a member of several professional organizations.

Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics, a master’s degree in nuclear engineering, and a PhD in nuclear engineering all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Current as of May 2022.