Our Management Team

Meet Our Management Team

Our Management, Engineering and Manufacturing teams are passionate about delivering world-class medical optical solutions to our OEM partners. Our combined history gives us more than 100 years of experience in medical optics design, development and manufacturing including Class I, II and II device design.

Our team members have diverse backgrounds in both startup medical ventures as well as Fortune 100 Medical Device companies. As a leading medical optics solutions providers, we bring extensive knowledge of world class best practices on bringing innovative devices to market.

Robert Austring, Chief Executive Officer & Business Development Officer

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Robert has over 40 years in the Medical Device Industry. During this time, he participated both as an individual contributor and in leadership roles in positions ranging across Product Development, Operations and Business Development.

He began his career with IOLAB, Johnson and Johnson, working with Class 3 devices in the intraocular lens industry. He held various positions in Product Development and Manufacturing. He then joined Alcon Laboratories and was responsible for process development for the first foldable acrylic intraocular lens. This product became the market leader, generating over $100M is sales within one year of launch.

Upon conclusion of the successful transfer to manufacturing and launch of the product, Robert joined a start-up venture which provided design, development and manufacturing of optical systems specializing in injection molding of diffractive optics. He was responsible for setting up the facilities and operations for their injection molding operations.

Robert joined Staar Surgical and led operations in the scale-up and launch of an advanced material for a foldable intraocular lens as well as several new optical designs. He has spent the last decade heading up business development, taking client products from concept through commercialization. This includes both durable and consumable product lines, specializing in electronic based instrumentation.

Benjamin J. Gray, Director of Research & Development

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Benjamin has over 9 years of experience as a lead electrical engineer including 5 years as a medical device development specialist.  His projects include the first handheld, high-definition digital endoscopic camera, a fiber optic based medical diagnostic device, numerous camera and display systems, as well as various other medical and surgical devices.  His specific core competencies include the application of new and existing technology to innovative products, video-imaging systems, medical device development and standards certification.

In 2004, Benjamin graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Kansas State University.  From 2004 to 2009, he worked at TriSquare Electronics as an electrical engineer and project coordinator where he was responsible for system research, development and design.  In 2009, Benjamin joined Pivot International as Senior Electrical Engineer.  In this role he performed new product development of medical devices and led the electrical design team, including worldwide operations, from concept to prototype and through design in to production.

Benjamin has worked with Lighthouse Imaging Corporation since 2012 developing digital imaging and electronic endoscopic systems, where he helped to pioneer a new generation of our medical imaging systems.

Bruce Dalton, Director of Product Development

Bruce Dalton has been developing new products for over 35 years with the last 12 years in medical device development involved in all aspects of the process from concept to volume manufacturing. With an electrical engineering background, he has developed instruments used in the oceanographic, aerospace, automotive and medical device fields. Bruce has been involved in the operations of companies ranging from large high-volume manufacturers to small specialized startups. More recently his focus has been on helping clients refine their product development plans including requirements, risk mitigation, verification and regulatory strategies.

Eric Z. Gray, Lead Program Manager

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Eric Gray has over 13 years of experience in Program Management and Production Operations in startup and rapidly growing organizations. His experience spans medical device product development, large scale commercial construction, and aerospace and DOD contract manufacturing. His breadth of experience is leveraged in managing our cross-functional teams to meet our customer’s objectives. Mr. Gray holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Industrial Arts with a concentration in product development.

Les Gardner, Quality Assurance Manager

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Les has over 30 years of experience in developing and deployment of improvement methodologies across a wide range of industries and manufacturing operations. His background ranges from Lean Six Sigma and TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) to Total Quality Management (TQM) program development and rollout. Building business excellence is Les’ primary focus. He has successfully led and mentored teams to deliver on time, on target results to accomplish site performance goals. He has personally applied the tools and has an extensive background in training all levels of the organization in Six Sigma, TPM and TQM components to build continuous improvement skills. He has held a wide range of process, environmental and quality engineering, coaching, capability development and TPM positions at SAPPI, National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments Incorporated.
Les is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, TQM Quality Advisor and has certified as an ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt, and JIPM (Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance) TPM Instructor. He attended the University of Massachusetts where he majored in Chemical Engineering.

Dennis Leiner, PhD, Founder/Board Advisor

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Dennis founded Lighthouse Imaging in 1984. He is an acknowledged industry expert in medical optics and has made major contributions to endoscope technology development. He is listed as inventor or co-inventor on more than 20 patents and has published numerous papers in the areas of medical optics and optical instrumentation. Dr. Leiner is a United States delegate to the International Standards Organization (ISO) overseeing worldwide endoscope standards. He is a Director at OEOSC, the technical arm of ANSI concerning optics. In addition, he is the project leader responsible for improving quality standards for endoscopes worldwide.