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To support the development of future photonics professionals, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Photonics Society, the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), and the Optical Society (OSA) have each offered $75,000 to fund tuition for the first 15 students of a new photonics technician program. The 15-month program, which covers three academic semesters and a summer internship, will be launched in summer 2020 at Stonehill College and Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts, in collaboration with MIT’s Initiative for Knowledge and Innovation in Manufacturing, which leads the AIM Photonics Academy.

Photonics technology, harnessing light particles called photons, are in an increasing number of high-tech applications — from lidar in driverless cars to sensors, data centers, and high-speed communication. Now, three professional societies that have a strong focus on photonics — Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Photonics Society, the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), and the Optical Society (OSA) — have each offered $75,000 to fund tuition for the first 15 students of a new photonics-technician program that Stonehill College and Bridgewater State University in southeastern Massachusetts will launch this summer, in collaboration with MIT’s Initiative for Knowledge and Innovation in Manufacturing, which leads the AIM Academy project, the education and workforce development initiative of the manufacturing institute AIM Photonics.

A January weeklong integrated photonics bootcamp, offered by MIT as part of its work with the manufacturing institute AIM Photonics, provided students with the opportunity to solve problems using lab equipment to test passive photonic chips, preparing them for challenges they could face on the job. The curriculum was built by professor Lionel Kimerling’s team. Kimerling is the founding director of the MIT Microphotonics Center.

The field of photonics — the use of light in everything from lasers to optic cables and its application in industries from healthcare to aviation to autonomous cars — is booming, and workers and regions who get in now will reap benefits for decades to come.
 
This science is poised to become an everyday necessity, and like transistors and processing chips, will pay enormous benefits to early adapters who have the workforce to pull in research and development, labs and manufacturing.
 
An argument can be made that the region south of Boston missed the computer and IT revolution that drove economic prosperity in the Route 128 corridor. That’s in part why the state’s $3.8 million grant for a new photonics training center and lab for this region located at Stonehill College and Bridgewater State University (BSU) is so crucial.

The U.S. Office of Naval Research’s Manufacturing Engineering Education Program awarded Thomas Lord Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Lionel Kimerling’s group, the MIT Education Arcade, and MIT’s Office of Open Learning a $5 million, three-year grant to develop multimedia online training modules around simulations of photonic integrated circuit components. Cloud computing data centers, self-driving cars, and medical diagnostic chips use these state-of-the-art chips. Kimerling is also education and workforce executive of AIM Photonics Institute, and as part of his work with AIM Photonics, he oversaw the development of simulation prototypes used in an MITx course this spring, enabling students to see how changes in photonic device design affect the propagation and confinement of light signals.  

Find more coverage from Clemson here.

Students in MIT's electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) course 3.155J/6.152J on micro/nano processing technology have been packaging the solar cells they fabricated at MIT.nano.

The new photonics lab, co-led by Bridgewater State University and Stonehill College, will join one at MIT and a collaborative project between Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Quinsigamond Community College.

Bridgewater State University and Stonehill College have been leading researchers in the field of photonics. And now, with a recent $3.8 million Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative award from the state to improve laboratories and equipment, both institutes will collaborate to launch a new regional integrated photonics hub to better train students to develop the technological advancements of tomorrow.

MIT's AIM Academy helped match two students at STCC to internships at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Two Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) students are working as interns this summer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Defense research and development center in Lexington.  MIT Lincoln Laboratory selected Douglas Bednarczyk and Shane Richardson, students from the Optics and Photonics Technology program at STCC. They are interning at the Lexington facility through August.

AIM Summer Academy 2019 has opened registration for its weeklong “photonics boot camp” featuring intensive short courses on integrated photonics (IP) for students, educators, engineers, and executives. From materials and devices to electronic photonic design automation (EPDA) software training and IP circuit design, the AIM Summer Academy will provide a thorough introduction to IP technologies and their commercial applications. It will take place July 22-26 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass.