LILLINGTON - Second-year students in the Laser and Photonics Technology (LPT) program at Central Carolina Community College's Harnett Main Campus experienced first-hand learning of photonics applications during a recent field trip to Charlotte.
On Sept. 27, the students toured Synoptics, a division of Northrup Grumman. Synoptics is one of the few manufacturers in the world of crystals used in solid-state lasers. Dr. Kevin Stevens, Director of Research & Development at Synoptics, who is also an advisor to the CCCC LPT program, conducted the tour. He showed the students all of the processes used to make the special crystals, explaining the science and technology used in each process. The students came away from the tour excited to actually see laser crystal rods made as they had studied in classroom lectures and labs.
On Sept. 28, the students toured the Optics Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Scott Williams, Assistant Director of the Center, who is an advisor to the CCCC LPT program, conducted the tour. He showed the students various research labs, pointing out and discussing some advanced photonics applications.
CCCC students on the tour were Cameron Wiedholz, from Chatham County; Isabelle Karis, from Cumberland County; Jamie Turner, from Harnett County; and Robert Strickland, from Moore County. Also on the tour was CCCC Laser and Photonics Technology Lead Instructor Gary Beasley. During the tours, they were able to observe some of the latest technology in the laser and photonics industry. In addition, students were able to get answers to some very difficult technical questions that arose during the tours - making for a great learning experience.
Central Carolina Community College has a laser club and student chapter of SPIE in their photonics curriculum. The field trip was funded through the club, student chapter, and a National Science Foundation (NSF) Laser and Fiber Optics Grant (LASER-TEC), which CCCC participates as a Co-Principal Investigator. The LASER-TEC Grant supports preparing more students for the fast growing fields of lasers and fiber optics technology. Dr. Chrys Panayiotou, from Indian Rivers State College, is the Principal Investigator of LASER-TEC. Photonics is the study of the use of light, such as lasers, for industrial and other purposes.
To learn more about Central Carolina Community College's Laser & Photonics Technology program, contact CCCC Laser and Photonics Technology Lead Instructor Gary Beasley at 910-814-8828 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about SPIE, visit spie.org. To learn more about LASER-TEC, visit www.laser-tec.org.
For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit the website www.cccc.edu.
Touring Synoptics, a division of Northrop Grumman, were, left to right: Cameron Wiedholz, Jamie Turner, Isabelle Karis, Dr. Kevin Stevens (Director of Research & Development at Synoptics, who is also an advisor to the CCCC LPT program), and Robert Strickland.
Touring the Optics Research Center on the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's campus were, left to right: Cameron Wiedholz, Jamie Turner, Robert Strickland, Isabelle Karis, and Scott Williams (Assistant Director of the Center, who is an advisor to the CCCC LPT program).