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  • Charting a Course for Success

Photonics Spectra
Jan 2016
JUSTINE MURPHY, EDITOR, justine.murphy@photonics.com

Justine MurphyAs we welcome the New Year, we renew our focus on the performance, the progress and the promise of the photonics industry. In this, the annual Photonics Spectra trends issue, we explore some of the industry’s top issues and opportunities, including workforce education, safety and security, advanced manufacturing, and space exploration.

Contributing editor Judy Donnelly takes a look at optics and photonics education, and its growing impact on the STEM community in the U.S. and around the world. Initiatives such as ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology), OP-TEC (the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Optics and Photonics Education) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are setting the course for the photonics scientists and engineers of tomorrow (read article).

Contributing editor Hank Hogan takes on trends in safety and security, and the hunt for more data via new lighting sources, imaging systems and more (read article).

The trends report continues with a look at the expansion of advanced manufacturing in a piece by managing editor Michael Wheeler. In it, industry experts share their insights on the future of manufacturing, including the government’s role in evolving innovation and growing the necessary workforce (read article).

It’s possible that students studying photonics today could one day find themselves on board a spaceship to the far reaches of our solar system. Engineers at NASA and aerospace companies discuss the role optics and photonics are playing in our understanding of the universe. From advances in spectroscopy, enhancements to astronomical instruments and the expanding field of astrophotonics, the possibilities for future space exploration seem boundless (read article).

Also in this issue, Stefaan Vandendriessche, an optical engineer with Edmund Optics, examines ways — lower costs and shorter lead times, among them — custom-designed tools and systems can benefit from stock, off-the-shelf optics components (read article).

Finally, with great excitement, we announce the finalists in the 2016 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation. (read article). Produced by Photonics Media and SPIE, the awards will be presented during a ceremony at SPIE Photonics West in February.

Join us in welcoming 2016, a new year on course for innovation and achievement.

Justine Murphy


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