Photonic Solutions Team

John MacLeod - Managing Director

After receiving a MSc in Laser and Optical Engineering from St Andrews University, John has spent 25 years in the Photonics industry in the USA and UK.

A founding director of Photonic Solutions in 1999, John now leads the company, determined to maintain a stable growth and continue to develop market share, whilst holding to a strategy that has seen Photonic Solutions become a trusted name in the photonics supply industry. 

John is a very keen fly fisherman and spends his spare time on some of Scotland's finest rivers usually failing to catch salmon.

John O'Connor - Marketing Director

John is Sales and Marketing director and has been with Photonic Solutions since April 2000. John has many years of international sales and marketing experience within the photonics sector, having undertaken senior roles at both Edinburgh Instruments and Ferranti International previously. With a keen interest in laser technology since graduating with a Physics degree from Heriot-Watt University followed by a Masters from St Andrews University, John has worked in the optoelectronics industry since 1980.

In his spare time John is a keen sailor and golfer and likes to keep fit by running.

John sailed the Atlantic in 2007 with The ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers).

Elaine Blackwood - Business Development, Scientific Systems

Before joining the company in 2007, Elaine worked for 10 years at Edinburgh Instruments, a leading manufacturer of scientific grade single photon counting spectrometers.

Initially working as a development and installation engineer, Elaine moved into the sales department, eventually becoming the Sales Manager of the Spectrometer Division. Elaine holds a PhD from the Laser Physics Group at Southampton University researching the control of quantum mechanical spin with light and a BSc in Physics from Glasgow University.

On leaving academia, she worked as a Research Scientist in the Technology group at the Gray Laboratory Cancer Research Trust (now the Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology & Biology, University of Oxford) looking into the development of optical instrumentation and imaging techniques particularly for in-vivo imaging.

Still sad that she had to hang up her running shoes, Elaine instead devotes her spare time to finding longer cycling commutes to work and skiing with her family. 

Andrew Blain - Technical Sales

Andrew has been with Photonic Solutions since Autumn 2011. “With a BSc in physics followed by an MSc in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from Glasgow University, he has developed a keen interest in optical physics and lasers.”

Prior to joining Photonic Solutions, Andrew established his own businesses which introduced him to working in sales. He is now able to couple the skills and experiences gained here with his technical knowledge gained in his education. Andrew is a keen musician playing saxophone, piano & bass guitar in a variety of different bands and has given performances in big shows to members of the public, celebrities and even royalty.

When not playing music Andrew can be found on the golf course or football pitch.

John Inglis - Financial Controller

John Joined Photonic Solutions in January 2012 having held a range of senior financial positions in prominent Scottish companies over the past 20 years including Murray International, Peckhams and DX Communications amongst others.

Educated at Caledonian University, he is a keen skier and road cyclist. and once climbed the Col Du Porte in the Pyrenees on his road bike.

Keith Mitchell – Sales and Service Manager

Keith has worked with lasers in one form or another for almost 30 years, and is the Sales and Service Manager at Photonic Solutions.

He developed a keen interest in photonics during his University days (BSc and PhD in Physics from Heriot-Watt University and post-doctoral work at Heriot-Watt and the University of Surrey) and has worked in the photonics industry since 1994.

During academic and industry careers he has gained extensive practical experience of a wide range of laser systems, from cw far infrared to tuneable fs systems. As well as being our in-house Sales specialist for spectroscopy, infrared detector systems and excimer lasers he has responsibility for overseeing our talented and dedicated Service team, as well as maintaining our IT infrastructure. Additional qualifications and experience include a black belt in Origami.

Ben Agate - Laser Sales Executive

Ben spent his academic career at the University of St Andrews, where he achieved a PhD in Laser Physics in 2003. He then spent four years as a post-doctoral Research Fellow in the multidisciplinary field of Biophotonics, looking at femtosecond optical transfection.

Now in his eight year at Photonic Solutions, Ben is on hand as a laser service engineer, offering technical support and training to our customers, and is also responsible for product sales. When not in the office or on the road, Ben spends his time in the garden, on the golf course or eyeing up the next DIY project. He is married with two growing boys.

Craig Garvie – Laser specialist

Craig joined Photonic Solutions in April 2005 as a senior laser engineer and became a sales engineer in 2011. He received a BSc (Hons) in 2001 in laser physics & optoelectronics and a PhD in physics in 2005 from Strathclyde University.

When not playing with lasers Craig is a somewhat frustrated footballer.

Aileen Macleod - Company Secretary

Aileen joined Photonic Solutions in 2013 as Company Secretary. Before that she had worked as manager of a Citizens Advice Bureau and then as a teacher of modern languages as well as raising her three sons who are now grown up.


In her spare time Aileen enjoys travelling, running, cycling and walking her dog.

Douglas McRobbie - Service Engineer

Douglas spent his academic career at The University of St Andrews and Heriot Watt universities, where he achieved a BSc, MSc and finally a PhD in 2008. He then accepted a 2 year position as an EPSRC Research Fellow at The University of St Andrews, designing, manufacturing and testing microfluidic optical traps containing semiconductor lasers.

In 2010 he joined Selex-ES as a Laser Engineer, contributing to the manufacture and delivery of over 500 high power laser systems to an American manufacturer of targeting pods for the fast-jet market.

Douglas joined Photonic Solutions in 2014 as a Service Engineer, offering support and training to our customers. In 2015, Douglas took on additional sales responsibilities within the company.

In his spare time, Douglas enjoys getting outdoors with his young family, eating good food and cycling or running whenever time permits.

Karolina Kolodziejczak - Sales and Marketing

Karolina started in April 2015. With a BSc honours in Business Studies from Napier University followed by an MSc in Corporate Strategies from Poznan University of Economics, Karolina started her adventure in physics while working for Pyreos, a high-tech start-up based in Edinburgh.

After 4 years’ experience in Sales and Marketing with the Infrared sensors manufacturer, she became the International Business Development Manager for Gilden Photonics, a spectroscopy manufacturer. At Photonic Solutions, Karolina will be responsible for Corporate Marketing and Sales of a number of specific product lines.

Karolina is a keen triathlete and completed her biggest sporting challenge to date by doing the Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon which involved swimming across Loch Tay, running over 7 Munros, kayaking along and then cycling back around Loch Tay. She loves her snowboarding in the winter and sailing and mountain biking in the summer.

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