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European Consortium Sponsors Optical Design Training

Photonics.com
May 2012
May 21, 2012 — In recognition of the role that good optical design and simulation have on product development, the European consortium Smethods aims to give small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) access to training and hands-on experience in these topics.

Smethods, or SMEs Training and Hands-on Practice in Optical Design and Simulation, is a support action under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme. It brings together seven European academic institutions recognized as leaders in optical design. These consortium partners will host free training courses open to all participants, although employees of European SMEs will be given priority.

“There are surprisingly few European universities that offer courses in classical optical design based on geometrical optics,” said Paul Urbach of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. “A probable explanation is that optical design is often considered a mature subject with only few research challenges. In addition, academic courses are often not close enough to practical applications, which means there is a huge demand in industry for optical engineers with practical design skills.”

The result is that large photonics companies have specialized optical design groups and often educate their optical designers themselves. However, most European photonics companies are SMEs, that do not have the financial means or the know-how to organize such applied training.

Smethods hopes to attract up to 300 participants over the 30-month project duration. Upcoming courses include:

     • Wave Optical Design (Brussels; June 4-8, 2012)
     • Non-imaging Optics (Madrid; June 18-23, 2012)
     • Diffractive Optics (Jena, Germany; July 2-6, 2012)
     • Imaging Optics (Jena, Germany; Oct. 1-5, 2012)

For more information, visit: www.smethods.eu


GLOSSARY
diffractive optics
Optical elements that use diffraction to control wavefronts. Diffractive optical elements include diffraction gratings, surface-relief diffractive lenses, holographic optical elements and computer-generated holograms. Fabrication methods include diamond machining, interference of coherent beams (holography), injection molding and advanced microlithographic techniques. See also binary optics; holographic optical element.
photonics
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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