Shoop said that establishment of the new program also is “further evidence of the growth, influence, and importance of optical and photonics engineering as a discipline. This program joins a growing number of optical engineering programs across the country that are attracting some of the best and brightest students to serve the growing needs of industry, government and academia.”
“The program will help ensure that the U.S. has a chance to participate at all levels in the coming growth in photonics,” said SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs. “As ABET moves to accredit programs in optics and photonics, UCF, long a leader in technology transfer programs and photonics education, is again showing its innovative drive. This timely new undergraduate program reflects the growing awareness of a vital field that has already changed the world in multiple ways – the Internet, laser surgery, and 3D imaging, to name a few -- and that will continue to change the world many times over.”
Students in the new UCF program will study geometrical optics, physical optics, optical materials, and photonics devices and systems, striking a balance between general engineering breadth and basic knowledge and practical skills for solving problems and designing and building working optical systems, Saleh said. Along with core courses, the program will provide hands-on training in laboratories and a capstone senior design project, and participation in a summer internship program with local industry will be encouraged.
As UCF faculty were instrumental in the development of the new ABET program criteria for optical, photonics and similarly named engineering programs, this new program is anticipated to become ABET accredited, which will directly serve the growing need for photonic engineers and further increase the visibility and recognition of optical and photonics engineering as
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