OPEN Optics and Photonics Education News
Newsletter of the Optics and Photonics College Network
February 2021
LASER-TEC Updated Materials
Light and Optics Experiment Kit and Book
We have updated and released the 2021 edition of the Light and Optics Experiment Kit and Lab Manual. The new edition of the kit supports 23 experiments in light and optics and does not require additional laboratory tools or devices. This makes the kit a better instrument for remote, hands-on student learning.
The lab workbook has gone through revisions as well: we added new experiments and updated the old ones for technical and pedagogical accuracy. The workbook has two versions – the student and instructor edition. The latter includes notes and solutions.

We want to thank everyone who contributed to the new edition and participated in its review. Both products can be requested through our website or you can contact us at
Lasers in Medicine and Surgery
Originally developed in 2008, the educational module Lasers in Medicine and Surgery now has updated technical and instructional content. This new edition was authored by Dr. Nathaniel Fried, professor of physics and optical science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The module includes topics on laser-tissue interaction, types of lasers used in medical laser systems, delivery systems, laser accessories, as well as guidelines for two laboratories. A PowerPoint presentation and a test bank are available by sending a request using an official college email to The module went through a rigorous evaluation by 21 industry and academic reviewers. 

The new 2021 edition of Lasers in Medicine and Surgery can be ordered through the module request form on our website.
The Congressional Optics & Photonics Caucus Launch Event
Tune in for the launch of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional Optics & Photonics (O&P) Caucus. This virtual event will be held on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 12:00 PM ET via Zoom.
This newly formed Congressional Member Organization, led by Reps. Joe Morelle and Brian Mast and Honorary Co-Chairs Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Steve Daines, seeks to advance the use of light-based technologies through public and private investments and policies. These technologies can significantly improve defense capabilities, communications, energy, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and scientific research. They also play a pivotal role in workforce development. The caucus will work in a bipartisan and bicameral way to increase awareness of how optics and photonics improve the everyday lives of Americans and maintain the U.S. position as a leader in global innovation.

Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 || Time: 12:00 - 1:00 PM ET || Location: Virtual Event via Zoom Webinar

Speakers include:
  • Congressman Joe Morelle, D-NY25; O&P Caucus founder & Co-Chair
  • Congressman Brian Mast, R-FL18; O&P Caucus founder & Co-Chair
  • Senator Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ; O&P Caucus Honorary Co-Chair
  • Senator Steve Daines, R-MT; O&P Caucus Honorary Co-Chair

RSVP for the launch event: Zoom Registration
Pi Day: Opportunity for Recruitment and Outreach
Founded in 1988, Pi (π) Day has become an international holiday, celebrated live and online all around the world on March 14.
Although it still might look different this year in many schools and colleges, Pi Day is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about optics, photonics, and laser technologies to teachers, students, parents, and your local community. From throwing virtual parties, to virtual pie challenges, and hosting simple calculation activities, there are plenty of playful opportunities to celebrate this day.

Visit these websites to learn more:
Time to Start Planning Summer Camps: LASER-TEC Can Help
Since 2015, the LASER-TEC team has hosted student camps in both face-to-face and virtual formats. A total of 526 campers ages 8-17 attended our 55 camp sessions and we are ready to share what we’ve learned along the way. How to plan your camp, how to recruit, how to leverage institutional resources, and what curriculum to use, do's and don’ts, liabilities, and many other topics associated with hosting a student camp. If you would like to learn more, feel free to contact us at
LASER-TEC Resources
Whether you are looking for support with your college program's outreach, curriculum design, academic-business partnerships, or student placement, LASER-TEC has resources for you. Visit the Resources tab on our website to browse textbooks, kits, laboratory manuals, and informational and outreach materials. The current collection is comprised of both LASER-TEC and OP-TEC materials. Don't forget to check this page often, as we will constantly upload additional resources.
Featured College: Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) - Kirkland, WA
Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) is a publicly-funded workforce college located in Kirkland, WA. The newest addition to the college’s programs list is a recently approved two-year (AAS) degree in Laser and Optical Technology. The program is designed for students who desire an entry-level job as a Photonics System Technician or a Specialist in one of the many Photonics organizations in the Seattle Area.

Associate of Applied Science in Laser and Optical Technology
The Laser and Optical Technology AAS-T prepares students to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of engineers and other professionals engaged in developing and using lasers, optics, and electro-optic and other photonic devices for commercial, industrial manufacturing, or research and development purposes. The program includes in-depth instruction with focused hands-on training in light and optics principles, photonics enabled systems applications and troubleshooting, and maintenance, safety precautions, clean-room regulations, and reporting preparations. 

Besides the AAS degree, the program will offer seven new certifications in the photonics industry fields including: 
  1. Photonics Technician, Certificate of Completion: Students are prepared to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of engineers and other technical professionals engaged in developing and using lasers and other optical devices and rays for commercial or research purposes.
  2. Laser Systems Repair, Certificate of Completion: Prepares students to apply knowledge of laser systems technologies and skills in maintaining optoelectronic systems, including laser systems and, biomedical laser-based systems.
  3. Laser Manufacturing Specialist, Certificate of Completion: Specialist Certificate of Completion prepares students to apply the understanding of laser technologies and their broad uses in the field of industrial manufacturing.
  4. Optoelectronics Systems Technician, Certificate of Completion: Technician Certificate of Completion prepares students to apply the understanding of nanotechnology, microsystems, and semiconductor technologies and their industrial applications.
  5. Fiber Optic Technician, Certificate of Completion: Certificate of Completion prepares students to apply the understanding of advanced communication systems based on the use of fiber optics as enabling technology in their operation.
  6. Imaging and Remote Sensing Specialist, Certificate of Completion: Specialist Certificate of Completion prepares students to apply the understanding of light and optics in imaging. Training will be focusing on imaging systems used for military, environmental monitoring, and medical, etc.
  7. Lighting and Illumination Technician, Certificate of Completion: Technician Certificate of Completion is designed to prepare skilled lighting designers and display technicians for the production of laser light shows.
Skills of AAS degree graduates:
  • Apply knowledge and skills related to how optics, lasers, photonic devices, electronics, controls, optomechanical devices, and electromechanical devices operate and interface with the equipment, applications, or systems in which they are embedded.
  • Measure characteristics of passive optical components, as well as their support and manipulating equipment.
  • Perform accurate optical alignments, testing, installation, maintenance, and operations for optical and photonics systems.
  • Measure output characteristics of lasers and other light sources.
  • Operate, calibrate, and maintain lasers and light-emitting and other photonic devices.
  • Integrate photonic devices or subsystems into larger systems and ensure their proper operation within prescribed industrial/manufacturing specifications with proper safety considerations.
  • Maintain a clean lab environment and follow established safety rules and regulations.
  • Solve problems using scientific method.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with others involved in the processing and fabrication of materials and parts.
  • Present technical information clearly and concisely in written and oral form.
  • Apply knowledge and skills in project management, leadership, career planning, and goal setting.
  • Be prepared to successfully sit for several industry-recognized certifications exams in the field.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking, teamwork, communication, intercultural appreciation, and. Information literacy skills.
  • Meet social science, humanities, written communication, and quantitative reasoning distribution
Contact Information
Name: Dr. Hany S. Roufael, Ph.D.
Telephone: (425) 739-8100 – ext.8575
Address: 11605 132nd Avenue NE, Kirkland, WA 98034 | Office: East Building, E153
Program Website
How can I recruit from this college?
Please reach out to our program director or come to our college to present your company and employment opportunities to our students. We will make available, free of charge, a private room to interview interested students. Please contact us to make arrangements for a recruiting visit. Current students are always seeking internship opportunities and graduates are available every May. 
OPCN Member Colleges

The Optics and Photonics College Network (OPCN) is an association of postsecondary photonics technician educators operated by LASER-TEC. To learn more about the OPCN and to view the list of member institutions, please visit
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OPEN is published by the LASER-TEC Center for Laser and Fiber Optics Education
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-1700352. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.