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ABET Approves Criteria for Optics and Photonics Engineering Undergraduate Degrees in United States
Date:11/12/2013

Bellingham, WA (PRWEB) November 11, 2013

Recent approval by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) for program criteria for optics and photonics engineering in undergraduate degrees confirms the field as one of the critical technologies of the 21st century, say the effort’s backers. ABET approved the newly developed criteria during its October board meeting in Baltimore.

ABET is a federation of 30 professional and technical societies that acts as the recognized accreditor for U.S. college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology.

In 2010, SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was designated the lead society for optics and photonics criteria related to curriculum and faculty for the ABET Applied Science Accreditation Commission, and co-lead with IEEE for similar programs in the Engineering and Technology accreditation commissions.

“I really believe that this is a key and defining juncture for our discipline,” said Barry Shoop, professor at the West Point U.S. Military Academy at West Point, who represents SPIE on the ABET board of directors.

Shoop stressed that work toward the approval has been “a massive team effort,” and singled out professors Charles Joenathan and Robert Bunch from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology who first encouraged SPIE to become engaged in ABET.

“The existence and value of bachelor’s degree in optical engineering has been largely overlooked,” said Carl Maes, a professor at the University of Arizona College of Optic
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