About Schott

Hello from SCHOTT North America! We’ve had a presence in the North American markets since the early 1900s, representing our parent company, which has been developing and manufacturing high-tech glass for a global world for 125 years. SCHOTT’s more than 16,000 employees worldwide, of which about 2,300 work in North America, strive to improve the way people live and work by providing high-quality specialty glass products and components that serve industries from defense to home technologies. We’re committed to our communities and the environment, and conduct our business in a sustainable and respectful manner. While we take pride in our history, our eyes are always focused on the future.

The “Glass Made of Ideas” blog brings that future to you as a hub of news, trends, and innovations in glass technology. We focus on industries and topics as diverse as design, defense and energy, home technologies, optics, pharmaceutical and medical, and glass innovations. It’s also a place where we’ll share SCHOTT North America news and updates. Our goal for this blog is to discuss high-tech glass solutions though various digital mediums to highlight the advancements and strength of our industry.

For more information please visit us at the SCHOTT North America website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

 

Bloggers

Barbara Augenblick
Barbara Augenblick
Hi, I’m Barbara Augenblick, consultant for SCHOTT North America. I’m responsible for reviewing and writing SCHOTT’s corporate publications, including its technology magazine, Solutions. I’ve been part of the SCHOTT team for more than 30 years, but before joining the company, I worked for the Cultural Services of the French Embassy as an Educational Film Library Manager. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Rider University and my MBA in marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. On a more personal note, I’m a cycling enthusiast and serve as the marketing chair for the Bicycle Touring Club of North Jersey. I’m also an avid New York Mets fan.
Arnie BazenskyArnie Bazensky
Hello! I’m Arnie Bazensky, Western Region Sales Manager for Advanced Optics and a Product Specialist in Astronomy and Space Optics. This is my dream job — I’ve been with SCHOTT for 28 years, following a 20-year career in materials science. My technical expertise in optical components and materials helps customers solve some of the most complex challenges in optics. I attended the University of Redlands and am a fellow at the Optical Society of Southern California. In my free time I enjoy scuba diving, hunting and shooting, and fishing, and I’m a chaplain at my local church.
Anil Busimi
Anil Busimi
Hello, I’m Anil Busimi, Head of Global Product Management in SCHOTT’s syringe division. I joined SCHOTT in 2003, and have since held a number of different positions, including Business Development Manager for microarrays, Consultant in corporate strategy and development, and Strategic Business Manager for the global pharmaceutical packaging division. I was the Global Product Manager for SCHOTT’s TopPac syringes before taking on my current role. I hold a master’s degree in agriculture and genetics, as well as an MBA.
Tony Cappabianca
Tony Cappabianca
Greetings, this is Tony Cappabianca. I’m the Business Manager of SCHOTT’s Medical Division in the Americas. I’ve been with SCHOTT for more than 21 years, and in that time, have held various sales and business development roles with a focus on the medical original equipment manufacturer industry. My job requires a continual need for creative problem solving, and I love working with customers to develop the best solutions possible. I earned my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Western New England University, and have continued graduate studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In my free time, I like to explore more creative pursuits: I’m a singer/songwriter and aspire to be a master potter.

Rina Della Vecchia
Hi, I’m Rina Della Vecchia, Marketing Communications Manager for SCHOTT North America. I manage the internal and external marketing and communications efforts for the SCHOTT corporate office, as well as our eight business units. I’ve been a part of the SCHOTT team for more than six years, but before joining the company, I worked in the trade show management industry and prior to that I conducted philanthropy work for the Westchester Philharmonic. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Pace University. On a more personal note, I’m a summer-loving girl and can spends hours on the beach. My husband and I also enjoy spending time outdoors, traveling, and trying new restaurants.
Karen Elder of SCHOTTKaren Elder
Hi there! I’m Karen Elder, Marketing Manager at SCHOTT North America. I’m responsible for developing and executing marketing and PR strategies for the Home Tech department. I also play a role in product development where I have the opportunity to work with our customers to implement innovation and design. Improving kitchen design is particularly exciting, partially because I love entertaining family and friends and the kitchen is the hub of every dinner party! Before coming to SCHOTT North America, I held communications roles at Coolbaker’s International and I also managed customer relations at CT Innovations. I’m an active member of the Emerald Circle, which supports the efforts of the green building and sustainable living industries. And I earned my bachelor’s degree from the University of Evansville. On the weekends you’ll find me outdoors, traveling, and attending music festivals and concerts.
Suzann Erben
Suzann Erben
Hi, I’m Suzann Erben, Sales Director Pharmaceutical Tubing and Director of Logistics for SCHOTT’s tubing business unit in North America. I’ve been with SCHOTT for about 20 years, and I started as a Sales and Marketing Manager of household glass in Jena, Germany. I transitioned to SCHOTT North America in 2004, and now serve clients in the U.S. and abroad in my dual role in Sales and Logistics for the Tubing group. Outside of work, my husband and I love to spend time outdoors, and we also love to travel. Plus, I enjoy cooking, gardening, and crafting — especially near Christmas when I try to handcraft new items for my coworkers every year.
Tina Gallo
Tina Gallo
Greetings, I’m Tina Gallo, Manager, Applications and Logistic Services for SCHOTT’s Home Tech division. My expertise is in material science, specializing in glass and glass-ceramic materials, but I also focus on new business development. With more than 18 years of experience in the specialty glass industry, I’ve served in a wide variety of engineering and managerial roles at SCHOTT in the U.S. and Germany. I’ve authored and co-authored eight patents and papers, one of which received the Dana Chase Award in 2003. I earned my master’s degree in material science from RWTH Aachen University in Germany. In my spare time, I enjoy coaching girls field hockey, hiking, and gardening.
Simi George
Simi George
Greetings, I’m Simi George, a senior materials scientist with the research and development group and the laser program manager for SCHOTT Advanced Optics, in North America. I joined the company in 2010, and currently I’m responsible for the design and development of materials for high peak and average power lasers in medical, defense, and industrial fields. I’ve previously worked with IR materials and fluorophosphates for optics and fibers. I earned my graduate degree and doctorate in physics from CREOL at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. My work toward the doctoral thesis involved the development of laser-based plasma light sources for EUV lithography. I subsequently completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California. My work during the fellowship involved many projects in all areas of EUV lithography patterning research and development involving photomasks and photoresists.
Lutz Gruebel
Lutz Gruebel
Hello, I’m Lutz Gruebel, Vice President, Asia for the Home Tech business unit, and I’m responsible for SCHOTT’s Home Tech sales and marketing initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region. For the past 14 years, I’ve served in various positions within the company, such as Director Sales and Market Development Asia and Director Sales and Marketing for SCHOTT Advanced Packaging. I earned my bachelor’s degree from the University of Stuttgart Hohenheim and my master’s degree from the University of Marburg. I’m currently based in Tokyo, Japan.
Dan Haines
Dan Haines
Hi there. I’m Dan Haines, Scientific Advisor at SCHOTT Pharma Services. I joined SCHOTT 13 years ago as a Research Scientist, helping to develop SCHOTT Nexterion microarray products, and pharmaceutical coating development. In my current role, I serve as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) coordinator for pharmaceutical packaging analytical services. I earned my bachelor’s degree from The University of Scranton and hold a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from The University of Chicago. I’m an avid skier, game player, and love spending time with my wife and three children.
Ed Hart
Ed Hart
Hi, I’m Ed Hart, Product Manager for SCHOTT North America’s Electronic Packaging unit. I’ve been with SCHOTT for eight years, starting off as New Business Development Manager in Advanced Optics and serving more recently as Senior Manager of Market Development and Innovation within SCHOTT North America Research and Development (R&D). While a member of the R&D team, I was the Porous Glass Project Leader and commercially responsible for the business. I transitioned to Product Manager within SCHOTT Electronic Packaging to lead the effort to roll out CoralPor porous glass to the commercial market. I earned my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Drexel University. In my spare time, I run a nonprofit organization that I founded, called Raising Awareness for Children using Engines (R.A.C.E.) Club, which serves as a medium to aid special-needs children. I also enjoy watching and coaching my sons in soccer, baseball, and basketball, and spending time with my family.
Todd Jaeger
Todd Jaeger
Hello! I’m Todd Jaeger, the North American Advanced Development Sales Manager for SCHOTT Advanced Optics. In this role, I concentrate on business development and technical sales for SCHOTT’s line of active and passive laser components. I have been on the SCHOTT team for more than three years and have held various roles with a focus on laser glass and optical components. Prior to joining SCHOTT, I held a number of sales and marketing roles in the optics industry. I possess a bachelor’s degree in environmental chemistry from Missouri State University and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Georgia. I am blessed to live and work in the Rocky Mountains, where I take part in a variety of hobbies and activities, such as hiking with my dog Rex, target shooting at the range out back, and even yo-yo collecting and practicing tricks. I‘m also a big sports fan, and can often be seen wearing red and black to support my Georgia Bulldogs.
Lauren Lake
Lauren Lake
Hi everyone, I’m Lauren Lake, Human Resources Director for SCHOTT North America. My responsibilities include improving employee retention, addressing employee concerns, and planning company events for the SCHOTT pharmaceutical packaging plant in Lebanon, Pa. Prior to joining the SCHOTT team more than 12 years ago, I worked for the Polaroid Corporation in the human resources department and for General Electric. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Trinity University and my master’s degree in manufacturing from Boston University. I’m also the proud mother of two sons and a Miniature Schnauzer named Pepper. In my spare time, I enjoy walking Pepper and vacationing at the Jersey shore.
Steve Leek
Steve Leek
Hello all, I’m Steven Leek, the National Sales Manager of SCHOTT Technical Tubing. I’ve been with SCHOTT for almost 30 years, and I’m in charge of managing the distribution network for drain line and gage glass, overseeing OEMs for explosion proof lighting, and selling our new product line of pneumatic conveying elbows. Outside of SCHOTT, I’m usually watching college basketball, embarking on home remodeling projects, coin collecting, or spoiling my two granddaughters.
Grant_Mason
Grant Mason
Hello, Grant Mason here, the Director of Sales for SCHOTT Gemtron Corporation in Midland, Canada. I’ve been a sales and marketing professional for over 25 years, with global business development experience in a mixture of OEM product channels. Throughout my career, my focus has been expanding flat glass in the interior design, store fixture, and architectural markets. On more of a personal note, I love the outdoors and spending time with my family enjoying the activities all four seasons have to offer, from hiking the trails to downhill skiing.
Tony Perry
Tony Perry
Hi there. I’m Tony Perry, Regional Quality Director for SCHOTT North America. My responsibilities include assessing and managing the quality of North American pharmaceutical packaging production to ensure that all plants are aligned with the SCHOTT standard quality processes. I also collaborate with customers by providing glass and glass defect training, reviewing customer processes, and advising on handling or processing procedures. I have more than 20 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, and prior to joining SCHOTT I worked at GlaxoSmithKline. In my spare time, I enjoy running, skiing, and playing badminton and soccer.
Chris Schechter
Chris Schechter
Hello, I’m Chris Schechter, Product Development Engineer at SCHOTT Gemtron Corporation. I joined the company in 2010 and currently lead development projects focusing on product innovations. I work out at SCHOTT’s Flat Glass plant in Sweetwater, Tennessee. I earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. In my spare time, I like to hike, backpack, ski, camp, and mountain bike.
David Schimmel
David Schimmel
Hello. I’m David Schimmel, a Marketing Consultant for SCHOTT North America’s Advanced Optics division. I served as the Marketing Services Manager at SCHOTT’s Duryea facility for 20 years, and while there, I also functioned as the Art Glass Product Manager. In this position, I worked closely with SCHOTT’s artist in residence, Christopher Ries. I now serve SCHOTT in a consulting capacity and act as the North American representative for the Advanced Optics marketing team, working in advertising, sales promotions, and other similar areas. In my spare time, I love to read and travel the world with my wife.
Olaf Schultz
Olaf Schultz
Hello, I’m Olaf Schultz, Senior Product and Sales Manager, Aviation, with SCHOTT’s Lighting and Imaging business unit. I’ve held a number of sales positions related to aviation, and have been responsible for filtration goods for aerospace and military applications, aviation connectors and cable harnesses, and illuminated front panels in cockpits, among others. I earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Fachhochschule Duesseldorf. In my free time you’ll find me biking around Lake Washington in the Seattle area (which is not as rainy as its reputation would have you believe).
Vijay Shanbhag
Vijay Shanbhag
Hi, I’m Vijay Shanbhag, Senior Sales Manager for SCHOTT’s medical imaging and lighting division. I’m responsible for managing new and existing sales of our surgical imaging and illumination products, which include leached fiber bundles and internal light guides for Endoscopy Market, to name a few. Our lighting products are used by medical professionals in numerous procedures, including surgeries, digital X-rays, in vitro diagnostics, endoscopies, and light therapies. I earned my master’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Toledo. In my spare time, I like to watch professional sports as well as all of my son’s sporting endeavors.
Rüdiger Sprengard
Rüdiger Sprengard
I’m Rüdiger Sprengard, the Director of New Business for SCHOTT’s ultra-thin glass division. Throughout my career at SCHOTT, I’ve spent many years in research and development focusing on OLED lighting devices, and served as the Director of Development New Products and Materials for almost a decade. My education is in solid state physics, and I received a Ph.D. on phase transitions in nanostructured glass from the University of Mainz in Germany. In my spare time, I love all-things Italy; I simply love the language, the culture, the food, and often travel there with my family.
Carl VonDommelen
Carl VanDommelen
Hello, I’m Carl VanDommelen, the Business Manager for the automotive group in SCHOTT’s Lighting and Imaging division. I’ve been with SCHOTT for more than eight years, and in that time I’ve worked in the machine vision/microscopy and industrial groups. I have a mechanical engineering degree with an emphasis on applied optics from GMI Engineering & Management Institute. As a native of Detroit, I’m an automotive enthusiast, and in my free time, I restore old homes and pinball machines, ride motorcycles, and front a band called BEAKER in Milwaukee, my current hometown.
Karen Wegert
Karen Wegert
Hi, I’m Karen Wegert, Applications Engineer for SCHOTT Home Tech North America. I specialize in new product development, and in my 13 years with SCHOTT, I’ve co-authored five patents. I’m also an active member of several industry organizations and committees, including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) Fire-Rated Glazing Committee, GANA’s Glazing Industry Code Committee, and the Society of Women Engineers. I earned my master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Louisville’s Speed Scientific School. Outside work, you’ll find me in my vegetable garden, cooking, or out on a run.
Ted Wegert
Ted Wegert
Hello, I’m Ted Wegert, Director Applications Engineering at SCHOTT North America. I specialize in product and material development and design, and mechanical analyses for glass and glass-ceramics. I’ve worked for SCHOTT for more than 18 years, leading product development for appliances, fireplaces, armor, and other industry applications. I’m an active member of the Association of Home Appliance Members, UL Environment, and the American Ceramic Society. I earned my bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University. When I’m not working, I enjoy mountain biking, cyclocross, reading, and forming glass art. I’m also a frequent home renovator.
EK_LittleEK Little

Hi, I’m EK Little, Director of Applications Engineering and Business Development for SCHOTT Research and Development Ventures Group in North America. Since joining SCHOTT in 2012, I’ve worked across several business units including Electronic Packaging and Advanced Optics. My expertise is in glass-to-metal seals for oil and gas down-hole connectors and infrared materials for defense and industrial applications, as well as fiber optics, metals, ceramics, glass, and raw materials management. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, which remains one of my favorite campuses. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, staying in touch with friends from around the globe, and playing with my grandchildren.

Hello! I’m Arnie Bazensky, Western Region Sales Manager for Advanced Optics and a Product Specialist in Astronomy and Space Optics. This is my dream job — I’ve been with SCHOTT for 28 years, following a 20-year career in materials science. My technical expertise in optical components and materials helps customers solve some of the most complex challenges in optics. I attended the University of Redlands and am a fellow at the Optical Society of Southern California. In my free time I enjoy scuba diving, hunting and shooting, and fishing, and I’m a chaplain at my local church.

Hi! I’m Philip Oesau. I have over 30 years of experience in B2B industrial sales and marketing, 16 of which I’ve spent in the architectural glass market. I’ve served as Sales Manager with SCHOTT North America since 2015, implementing and managing SCHOTT’s Partner Program to increase service to our clients and their end users. I enjoy spending my free time with family and friends, playing blues guitar, and reading anything and everything!