CREOL, the College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida, along with The Foundation of the Optical Society and SPIE are proud to sponsor the Optics Event, Division B and C. As part of the sponsorship, we have a website that helps with the content of the event: http://optics.creol.ucf.edu. At the national tournament, we will be recognizing the division C gold medal winners with $1000 awards.
Optics and Photonics is an Enabling Technology
Optics and Photonics is the technology of the 21st century, just as electronics was the burgeoning technology of the 20th Century. Photonics Engineers are in high demand, with the U.S. Department of Labor forecasting a need for 30,000 new hires between now and 2024. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree command high salaries.
What is Photonics?
It is an enabling technology found in almost every device you have. Fiber Optic cables form the backbone of the internet, are used in modern aircraft design, and transmit the messages from your phone between cell towers. Photovoltaics will transform energy production and transmission. Sensors and imaging will increasingly be used to enable autonomous vehicles. Displays in televisions, projection systems, and cell phones are increasing in sophistication and quality. Lighting from LEDs has reduced energy demand. Companies are working now on printers that can produce functioning biological organs, ready for transplant.
Photonics will solve many of the engineering challenges we have today in energy production, national security, climate changes, information, communication, and medicine.
Bachelor of Science in Photonic Science and Engineering
With only six universities in the United States that have an ABET Accredited program, the University of Central Florida leads the way for education and research in photonics. Founded in 2013, students are now employed at companies such as Lockheed, Harris, Verizon, the United States Army, and Qorvo. Some are pursuing doctoral degrees in prestigious photonics graduate programs, both here at CREOL and at Rochester and Arizona.
For the many new teams and coaches that have contacted me over the summer, welcome! You will find what you need on the website and please e-mail me if you have further questions. Your membership fee includes a rules manual, invitation to participate in your regional tournament, state tournament (if qualified from regionals) and the national tournament (if qualified from the state tournament). Insurance coverage is also included for any sanctioned Science Olympiad event (this does not include private invitational tournaments).
With the ability to register online, and some changes that will be coming with the paperwork this spring, we don’t anticipate the paper monster we create each year with the fax, but there will be occasions that it will be necessary. This fax goes straight to my e-mail so I can actually confirm faxes this year without having to wait until I get home. Along with that, I would remind everyone that e-mail is the best way to get ahold of me. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Like all volunteer agencies, we all have regular jobs that we have to perform and cannot be summoned 24 hours a day.