OPEN Optics and Photonics Education News
Newsletter of the Optics and Photonics College Network
January 2021
Photonics Spectra Conference, January 19-22, 2021
This year, Photonics Spectra is hosting its first online conference that features over 70 webinar presentations discussing the latest trends, technologies, and applications under four tracks - Lasers, Optics, Spectroscopy, and Biomedical Imaging. Registration is free. 

Many presentations included in this conference can help enrich your classes and student outreach campaigns with interesting data, current trends, discoveries, and future projections of photonics technology.

Here is a list of some of the presentations we think you will find interesting. 

January 19, 2021 (Lasers track)
Advancements in Ultrashort-Pulse Fiber Laser Processing (10:30 am)
Advancements in High-Power Semiconductor Lasers (11:00 am)
LiDAR: Trends in Remote Detection and Measurement in Aerospace and Defense (11:30 am)

On January 20 (Optics track) Alexis Vogt will discuss Optics Education and the Workforce (11:00 am) and How Current Trends in Optics are Lighting the Path to Turn Science Fiction into Science Fact (1:00 pm)

The program on January 21 (Spectroscopy track) includes presentations on Smartphone Spectroscopy Enabling Citizen Science (8:00 am) and Getting a Handle on Portable Spectroscopy in 2020 (11:00 am)

January 22 (Biomedical Imaging) features presentations on Camera Technology in the Medical and Life Sciences 2021: Latest Developments and Upcoming Trends (7:30 am) and Advancements in Photoacoustic Imaging Brighten the Next Decade (8:00 am)

There are a lot of other interesting presentations scheduled during these four days. We hope you can carve some time out of your busy schedule to register for and attend this online event.

Visit the conference webpage for more information.
Focus on Student Placement
In addition to a rigorous and relevant education in photonics, preparing students for employment and sustaining strong industry partnerships are some of the most important steps to ensuring that your students find good jobs after graduation.

January is a great month to reach out to industry, or schedule field trips or visits to your college. Before these events, advise your students to be prepared regardless of whether interviews are scheduled or not: they need to dress professionally, show up on time, learn about the company, bring their resume, cover letter, and any other documentation that might help them stand out and be considered for the job.

To help students with getting their professional portfolio ready, consider hosting a student training session on resume and cover letter writing and adding best practices in the job application process as a part of your photonics coursework. LASER-TEC can help you with that! You can learn more and schedule our online Career Preparedness Workshop on our website.
Free Nanomanufacturing Certificate Program for Military and Military Families Starts February, 15, 2021
Registration is now open for the Nanomanufacturing Certificate Program (NCP) pilot training starting February 15th to military, military family members, as well as veterans.  This extremely valuable SkillBridge Approved training is presently in pilot mode; thus, it is being offered FREE to participants, courtesy of a grant from the NSF Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program.  

This certificate program is targeted at preparing attendees to earn ASTM International Nanotechnology Workforce Certificates as well as enabling access to industrial career opportunities at excellent starting salaries.  
The program will begin on February 15th and will run for 12 consecutive weeks, 5 days per week, 6 hours per day. Attendees have the option of attending in two modes:   
1. in full virtual mode (live stream lectures and labs) from their present location, or
2. in hybrid mode (live stream lectures, with a combination of live stream labs as well as face to face labs to be held in Norfolk, Virginia). 

The NSF ATE NACK Resource Center at Penn State is partnering with Tidewater Community College as well as Norfolk State University to deliver this comprehensive training.

For more information on this opportunity please visit the Nanomanufacturing Certificate Program – Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization site, view the attached flyer or directly contact Chris Blow at Tidewater Community College,
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: Indian River State College (IRSC) - Fort Pierce, FL
Offers Associate Degree and Certificate programs in laser, photonics, fiber optics and solar energy for 15+ years. More than 350 technicians have graduated and are working in the Laser/Photonics industry throughout the United States and internationally. Companies that hired graduates of these programs include: Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, AT&T, Gooch & Housego, Jenoptik, Laser Components, Rockwell Collins, Harris Corp., and many more.

Associate in Science degree program in Photonics and Robotics
Two-year program with strong technical core teaching hands on training skills in state-of-the-art labs stocked with the latest industrial grade equipment. Technicians receive a solid foundation in electronics, automation, robotics during the first year. In their second year they learn Photonics, Fiber Optics, Geometrical Optics, Laser Technologies, and Photovoltaic Systems. Graduates of this program work as technicians in industrial production companies, in research and development, national labs, field service, and system repair among other places. 

Skills of AS degree graduates
  • Troubleshoot integrated photonic systems using microscopes, oscilloscopes, pulse generators, power meters, beam analyzers, spectrometers, or energy measurement devices.
  • Tune Nd:YAG, HeNe, and CO2 lasers for maximum power and high quality beam.
  • Align optical systems.
  • Perform high quality fusion splicing for single and multi mode fibers.
  • Use OTDR to identify problems in fiber optic links.
  • Properly clean and maintain precision optics.
  • Use optical source and meter to measure attenuation of optical links.
  • Document procedures, such as calibration of optical or fiber optic equipment.
  • Apply laser safety rules according to ANSI and OSHA standards.
  • Compute or record photonic test data.
  • Troubleshoot robotic systems, using knowledge of programmable controllers, electronics, circuit analysis, mechanics, sensor or feedback systems, hydraulics, or pneumatics.
  • Disassemble and reassemble robots or peripheral equipment to make repairs such as replacement of defective circuit boards, sensors, controllers, encoders, and servomotors.
  • Perform preventive or corrective maintenance on robotic systems or components.
  • Maintain service records of robotic equipment or automated production systems.
  • Install, program, or repair programmable logic controllers (PLC), robot controllers, end-of-arm tools, or conveyors.
  • Program PLCs using ladder logic.
  • Program SCADA systems and HMI interfaces.
Certificates (Short term 4, 6, or 8 month duration)
Lasers & Photonics
Solar Energy
Robotics and Simulation
Basic Electronics
Electronic Technology
Contact Information
Name: Dr. Mo Hasanovic
Telephone: (772) 462-7743
Address: 3209 Virginia Avenue, Fort Pierce, FL 34981
How can I recruit from this college?
Visit our college to present your company and employment opportunities to our students. We will make available, free of charge, a private auditorium to interview interested students. Please contact the person above to make arrangements for a recruiting visit. Graduation occurs every December and 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.