TSTC Summer Institute

2017 Summer Institutes at Texas State Technical College – Waco, TX

Institute 1: May 16, 2017   10:00am to 3:00pm
Institute 2: June 20, 2017   10:00am to 3:00pm
Institute 3: July 11, 2017 10:00am to 3:00pm


With a vision for the future, Texas State Technical College (TSTC) Waco developed the nation’s first Laser Electro-Optics Technology (LET) program in 1969.  Since that time, TSTC has continued to successfully train laser optics technicians for rewarding careers in the photonics industry and those industries enabled by photonics. 

In an effort to increase awareness of this growing field, TSTC Waco is partnering with the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education (OP-TEC) to offer a Summer Institute in optics and photonics and its associated photonics-enabled applications. TSTC Waco currently serves as an OP-TEC college partner specializing in photonics and nanotechnology.  OP-TEC is a National Science Foundation (NSF) National Center of Excellence headquartered in Waco.

TSTC’s Mission:

  • Increase the number of students in the Laser Electro-Optics and Nanotechnology programs at TSTC Waco.
  • Develop 4+2+2 career pathways for high school students in photonics-enabled technology education programs.
  • Increase the number of graduates in these programs and employ them in a photonics career field.

Learn more about TSTC Waco

OP-TEC’s Mission:

  • Enhance optics and photonics education nationally.
  • Increase the number of photonics-enabled associate degree programs nationally.
  • Work with high schools and community and technical college faculty to increase the number of students entering the photonics-enabled programs.
  • Create high school-to-community college “pipelines” of highly qualified and strongly motivated students.
  • Increase the numbers of graduates from these programs in an effort to meet the urgent need for optics and photonics technicians.

Learn more about OP-TEC

Participant Eligibility:

The Institute is open to teachers, counselors and students (grades 9-12). Students are selected based on an application. Teachers and counselors must submit an application containing information on their current job position, experience and interest in photonics and photonics-enabled technology fields.

View complete application details and instructions or submit an application online.


The Summer Institute’s curriculum will provide participants with classroom lecture and valuable hands-on training in the photonics skills required in the photonics industry.  The curriculum will also cover basic laser and optics principles and their associated applications, career opportunities and educational program opportunities. 

The purpose for the Summer Institute is to provide students, teachers and counselors the opportunity to learn more about:

  • the skills required to be successful in photonics-enabled careers;
  • the career choices and applications of the photonics industry; and, 
  • the educational opportunities available through TSTC’s LET and Nanotechnology programs.

In addition, the Institute provides the unique opportunity for students, teachers and counselors to collaborate and interact in classroom and laboratory environments.


May 16, 2017   10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – 1st Institute
June 20, 2017   10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – 2nd Institute
July 11, 2017   10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – 3rd Institute

Registration Fee:  None

There is no registration fee to attend the Institute.   Participants are responsible for any travel expenses to attend the Institute.


Lunch is provided by OP-TEC and TSTC Waco.

Application Process

Applications are accepted via email, fax and mail or through the online application process.


Applications Deadline:

May 1, 2017 – 1st Institute
June 5, 2017 – 2nd Institute
June 26, 2017 – 3rd Institute

Access complete application details and instructions.

Parent/Guardian Information for Student Applications: 

View important information for parents and guardians of student applicants.

For more information, please contact:
John Pedrotti
Department Chair
Texas State Technical College
Laser Electro-Optics Technology (LET) Department
3801 Campus Drive
Waco, TX  76705
Phone:  254-867-3173
Fax:  254-867-3175
E-mail:  john.pedrotti@tstc.edu

Midwest Photonics Education Center

Indian Hills Community College
626 Indian Hills Drive
Ottumwa, Iowa 52501
Mr. Greg Kepner
Office: 641-683-5284
E-mail: greg.kepner@indianhills.edu
Website: http://www.midwestphotonics.org
Specialization: Photonics in Manufacturing

Laser and Fiber Optics Regional Education Center

Indian River State College
3209 Virginia Avenue
Fort Pierce, FL 34981
Dr. Chrys Panayiotou
Office: 772-462-7621
E-mail: cpanayio@irsc.edu
Website: http://www.laser-tec.org
Specialization: Fiber Optics

Texas State Technical College

3801 Campus Drive
Waco, Texas 76705
Mr. John O. Pedrotti
Department Chair, Lasers & Nanotechnology
Office: 254-867-3173
E-mail: john.pedrotti@tstc.edu
Specialization: Photonics in Opto-Electronics / Nano-Technology

Irvine Valley College / Advanced Technology and Education Park (IVC / ATEP)

15445 Lansdowne Road
Tustin, California 92782
Brian Monacelli
Office: 949-282-2706
E-mail: IVCphotonics@IVC.edu
Website: http://academics.ivc.edu/physci/photonics
Specialization: Photonics in Education/Training for Employed Technicians

Camden County College

200 College Drive
Blackwood, New Jersey 08012
Dr. Fred Seeber
Professor Emeritus, Physics and Photonics
Office: 856-227-7200 (ext. 4475)
E-mail: fseeber@camdencc.edu

New York Photonics

Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster
Thomas Battley, Executive Director
1565 Jefferson Rd, #420
Rochester, New York 14623
Phone: 585-329-4029
E-mail: tbattley@newyorkphotonics.org
Website – New York Photonics: www.newyorkphotonics.org

New Mexico Optics Industry Association

Jim McNalley, Chairman
851 University Blvd., SE
Suite 203
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106
Phone: 505-767-1200
E-mail: info@nmoia.org
Website: www.nmoptics.com

Florida Photonics Cluster

Florida Photonics Cluster
James E. Pearson, Executive Director
12424 Research Parkway, Ste. 100
Orlando, Florida 32826
E-mail: jpearson@creol.ucf.edu
Website: www.floridaphotonicscluster.org

Colorado Photonics Industry Association

Garry Gorsuch, Director
5733 Central Ave.
Boulder, Colorado 80301
Phone: 303-834-1022
E-mail: exec@coloradophotonics.org
Website: www.coloradophotonics.org

Carolinas Photonics Consortium

Jeff Conley, Director
1754 Woodruff Rd., Ste. 101
Greenville, South Carolina 29607
Phone: 864-325-4700
E-mail: jcon@charter.net
Website: www.carolinasphotonics.com

Optics Valley

c/o Arizona Technology Council
John Dennis, Chair
9070 South Rita Road, #1550
Tucson, AZ 85747
E-mail: Chair@OpticsValleyAZ.org
Website: www.OpticsValleyAZ.org

Indian Hills Community College

626 Indian Hills Drive
Ottumwa, Iowa 52501
Mr. Greg Kepner
Department Chair, Industrial Technology
Office: 641-683-5284
E-mail: gkepner@indianhills.edu
Website: http://www.indianhills.edu/courses/tech/laser.html
Specialization: Photonics in Manufacturing