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  • Indian River State College Wins NSF Grant for Photonics Education
Sep 2011
FORT PIERCE, Fla., Sept. 1, 2011 — Indian River State College (IRSC) was awarded a $70,000 National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Grant to plan a Southeast Regional Center for Optics and Photonics Education and Training.

IRSC will lead a six-state initiative to develop a comprehensive plan outlining the workforce needs of the photonics industry and training strategies to meet those needs.

The specialized nature of the field creates a demand for photonics technicians, as well as a need to update the existing workforce. A national study conducted by the University of North Texas Survey Research Center in 2009 estimated a need for 1180 new photonics technicians annually through 2014.

IRSC will enlist representatives from photonics laboratories and companies to provide a current perspective on industry needs and to build a coalition of colleges and universities that offer photonics training programs in Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi. The educational partners will develop training strategies and collaborate with photonics corporations.

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The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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