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Sussex County Community College

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Newton, New Jersey

LASER-TEC is the Center for Laser and Fiber Optics Education, founded in 2013 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and headquartered at Indian River State College in Florida. It was established to help meet the goals of educating and sourcing domestic talent in the areas of optics and photonics. As a service to students, recent graduates, and prospective employers, Photonics Spectra runs a profile of one of the 35 LASER-TEC colleges each month.

Sussex County Community College (SCCC) has developed a quartet of programs aimed at providing students with the knowledge, training, and experience required to excel in the field of optics and photonics. Whether pursuing the two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree or one of the three one-year certificate programs, graduates will learn from experts in the field while expanding their own networks in the industry. SCCC structures all of its optics technology programs to provide hands- on and experiential learning that includes substantial use of industry-standard machinery. This helps to prepare students for successful careers within the optics industry — often with SCCC partner organizations such as Thorlabs, Inrad Optics, or Esco Optics.

A student in SCCC’s Optics Technology associate degree program uses an interferometer-based optical thickness gauge to determine the size of an optic to submicrometer accuracy. Courtesy of Sussex County Community College.

A student in SCCC’s Optics Technology associate degree program uses an interferometer-based optical thickness gauge to determine the size of an optic to submicrometer accuracy. Courtesy of Sussex County Community College.

Program descriptions

SCCC’s Optics Technology associate degree program gives students the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in the field of optical manufacturing through integrated general education coursework that will qualify them to work in the industry.

Students will develop advanced skills in the comprehension of technical drawings, material handling, convention- al grinding and polishing, optomechanical assembly, metrology, and quality control. Students will also receive training in programming, setting up, and operating CNC (computerized numerical control) grinding and polishing machines.

The three Optics Technology certification programs offered at SCCC focus respectively on CNC manufacturing, conventional manufacturing, and optics technology. All three provide students with theoretical and hands-on knowledge.

Graduates of SCCC’s degree and certificate programs have the skills to:
  • Employ safety skills in industrial settings while using conventional machinery, CNC machinery, coating materials, lasers, and more.
  • Perform conventional and CNC polishing and grinding of optics.
  • Use both conventional and CNC methods to determine whether parts meet technical drawing specifications.
  • Use industry-standard machinery, manufacturing techniques, and processes.
  • Apply metrology skills for the purpose of creating first-article inspection reports.
  • Perform setup procedures on CNC grinding and polishing systems.
  • Assemble multiple optical elements.
  • Properly handle and clean various optical elements.
  • Utilize military and ISO specifications to execute inspection plans.
How to recruit from this college

If you are interested in recruiting students from SCCC, please reach out to the program supervisor listed below. Arrangements for in-person or virtual meetings can be made. Internship opportunities for current students are always welcomed. Graduates are available each May.

Contact information

Brian Lake [email protected]
+1 908-914-7556

1 College Hill Road
Newton, NJ 07860


Photonics Spectra
Mar 2021
LASER-TEC College Profile

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