P237: Expanding opportunities for photonics education and training in Michigan [WITHDRAWN]
Photonics encompasses the science and technology of using light to generate and control energy, and transmit and detect information. Photonics is an enabling technology and a growing field. It supports a wide variety of industries and impacts society in a significant way. While there are excellent opportunities for bachelor and graduate level education in optics and photonics in Michigan, the same cannot be said about photonics technician preparation programs. Baker College has introduced the first associate level program in photonics and laser technology in the state in fall 2013. This initiative has received enthusiastic support from the state’s photonics industry, and is also supported by a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Grant. In its first year the photonics program has achieved several important milestones – among these are convening an Advisory Board with industry participation, developing almost the entire curriculum, and creating a fully functional optics and photonics laboratory providing students with hands-on training to complement the theoretical knowledge. Outreach activities are also an integral part of the program. An Open House and summer camp were held to promote the career field and new program. The paper discusses the development and introduction of the new program and the support received from the National Science Foundation and the industry group Mi-Light, the Michigan Photonics Cluster. The author gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the NSF DUE 1304071 for this project.