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Optics Education and the Workforce

Jan 20, 2021
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The global optics, photonics, and imaging industry is growing, but a worldwide shortage of technicians exists. This, coupled with industry reports that 20% of experienced technicians and engineers are approaching retirement, is creating even greater need for skilled optics and photonics technicians. More than 95% of upstate New York's skilled optics technician job openings go unfilled each year due to an insufficient number of optics and photonics graduates. And this shortage is not isolated to New York, or to the U.S. — the shortage of optics technicians is worldwide. Engineers are being called upon to do the work of optics technicians, and a shortage of skilled workers impairs innovation activities. Join Alexis Vogt to learn how training programs are educating diverse optics and photonics technicians.

***This presentation premiered during the 2021 Photonics Spectra Conference Optics track. For information on upcoming Photonics Media events, see our event calendar here.

About the presenter:
Alexis Vogt, Ph.D.Alexis Vogt, Ph.D., is Endowed Chair and Professor of Optics at Monroe Community College — the nation's only community college awarding associate degrees in precision optics. In her five years at MCC, Vogt has secured over $5.9M for the College's Optical Systems Technology program. She received her B.S. as well as her Ph.D. in Optics from the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester where her research focused on polarization engineering, coherence theory, and microscopy. Prior to joining MCC, she worked in the optics industry at Melles Griot (IDEX) and Bausch + Lomb.

Vogt holds three patents and has authored hundreds of papers, presentations, and publications in the field, including the definitions of "light" and "polarization" for The World Book Encyclopedia. She is recipient of the 2020 IEEE Technical Skills Educator Award, the 2018 National Women's Hall of Fame Keeper of the Flame Award, the 2017 New York Photonics Education Award, the Rochester Business Journal 2016 "Forty Under 40" award, the 2015 IDEX KEEP award, and the 2012 Bausch + Lomb CEO Award. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the American Precision Optics Manufacturers Association (APOMA), the Rochester Museum & Science Center, and New York Photonics.
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