The first two articles in this month’s newsletter (Using LADAR to See Through Fire and Lensless See-Through Cameras) are examples of the rapidly emerging applications of photonics. As this technology continues to expand, the demand for competent photonics technicians is also increasing. Employers across the country are urging SPIE to consider strategies to help colleges produce more photonics technicians. Krisinda Plenkovich, SPIE Director, Education and Community Services, has recently contacted all OPCN colleges to provide information she is using in a study to explore this issue and determine if there is a role for SPIE in helping to support this community and connect them with employers.
MPEC, the Midwest Photonics Education Center, has recently provided faculty professional development in the use of lasers in materials processing, and plans to offer a hybrid, online course on this topic in the near future. Manufacturing Day celebrations (October 5, 2018), are events hosted by several OPCN colleges to raise career awareness in this photonics application. Successful strategies and resources for student recruitment are described in the Resource of the Month.