NWS Instruments AG

Founders Dinner

Steven K. Lee
Founder and CEO

A leading turnaround and growth CEO with proven track record of successful company turnaround, business model innovation and profitability, as well as long term growth initiatives.

  • 2016 – Present : CEO, NWS Instruments AG, Lenzburg, Switzerland
  • 2006 – 2008: CEO, Leica Camera AG, Solms, Germany. Led the successful turnaround of the 1,000-employee company to profitability within 18 months as well as chartering the development of 19 new products.
  • 2000 – 2006: VP of Strategic Development, Best Buy Co., Richfield, Minnesota, USA. Drove multiple strategic planning and revenue growth alliances. Created the first profitable private label technology manufacturing business as well as filing design patents with Porsche Design, Austria.
  • 1995 – 2000: Founder, Canorus Inc., Nashville, Tennessee. Led the global transition of digital audio production and archival to 24/192 high definition format.
  • 1977 – 1995: IBM Corporation, Armonk, New York, Corporate Marketing
  • Steven holds 7 United States Patents with 10 additional applications.

Dr. Christoph Horneber
Co-Founder and Director of Optical Design

A master optical designer specialist in lenses for imaging optics who designed for example the iconic Leica Noctilux-M 1:0,95/50mm ASPH and the Tri-Elmar-M 1:4/16-18-21mm ASPH

  • 2016 – Present: Director of Optical Design, NWS Instruments GmbH
  • 2012 – 2016 : Optical Designer, Hembach Photonik GmbH, Germany Specializing in lenses, mirror optics and optical metrology
  • 2008 – 2012: Team Leader, Optical Engineering R&D, RUAG Space AG, Zürich, Switzerland
  • 2003 – 2008: Optical Designer, Leica Camera AG, Solms, Germany
  • 1998 – 2003: PhD candidate at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg Doctoral Thesis: „Phase measuring deflectometry“
  • 1998: Undergraduate, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Physics
  • 1994: Undergraduate, Imperial Collage London with Imperial College, Internatinal Diploma in Physics
  • Hobbies: Table tennis, riding motorbike, theater (especially musicals), enjoys vacation in a mobile home
  • Supports World Vision through children sponsorships for more than ten years
  • Languages: German, English (fluent)

Dr. Bernhard Michel
Co-Founder and Director of Optical Engineering

An authority in development and analysis for optic systems since 1998 servicing the needs of the automobile and aerospace industries.

  • 2017 – Present: Director of Optical Engineering, NWS Instruments GmbH
  • 2011: Founder and CEO, Hembach Photonik GmbH, Rednitzhembach, Germany. The firm has 8 employees, with automobile, aerospace, industrial optics and medical engineering cleints
  • 2006 – 2010: CEO, Simuloptics GmbH in Schwabach, Germany
  • 2000 – 2009: European representative of Breault Research Organization (USA)
  • 1998 – 2005: Engineering office for optics design and analysis
  • 1992 – 1998: Research Associate, Max-Planck Institut/University of Jena, Germany. Project on light scattering by nano-particles
  • 1992: Undergraduate, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg Nuclear Physics
  • Past projects included light guides for BMW 3, 5 and 7 series, Mercedes S Class and optical analysis of space missions such as Meteosat Third Generation, Sentinel 3 and 4
  • Hobbies: Double bass player in a symphony orchestra, scuba diving
  • Favorite composers: Dmitri Shostakovich, Richard Wagner
  • Languages: English (fluent), Portuguese (basic knowledge)


Niederlenzerstrasse 10
CH-5600 Lenzburg