College News

CCCC students attend national photonics convention

Click to enlarge,  Second-year students in the Laser and Photonics Technology program at Central Carolina Community College attended the 2018 SPIE Photonics West Convention in San Francisco. Pictured are, left to right: Michael Kropp, Seth Kuenzler, Derrick Kuhl, Jamal Robinson, Nickolas Jorgenson, Darin Anderson, and Gary Beasley (Lead Instructor).

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Second-year students in the Laser and Photonics Technology program at Central Carolina Community College ... (more)

Click to enlarge,  Second-year students in the Laser and Photonics Technology program at Central Carolina Community College had lunch with previous CCCC Laser graduates following the LLNL tour. Pictured are, left to right: Seth Kuenzler, Gary Beasley, Michael Kropp, Darin Anderson, Derrick Kuhl, Jamal Robinson, Al Delong, Nickolas Jorgenson, Thomas Martin, David Pope, and Chrysanthos Panayiotou (LASER-TEC Principal Investigator).

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Second-year students in the Laser and Photonics Technology program at Central Carolina Community College ... (more)

02.12.2018College & CommunityCollege GeneralStudents/Graduates

LILLINGTON - Second-year students in the Laser and Photonics Technology program at Central Carolina Community College recently attended the 2018 SPIE Photonics West Convention in San Francisco. SPIE is an international society promoting an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light. Photonics West is one of the world's largest photonics exhibitions with over 1,400 companies presenting and over 22,000 professionals attending.

Attending from the Laser program were students Darin Anderson, Michael Kropp, and Jamal Robinson from Harnett County; Seth Kuenzler and Derrick Kuhl from Lee County; Nickolas Jorgenson from Cumberland County, and Laser program lead instructor Gary Beasley. Touring exhibits at Photonics West, they were able to observe the latest technology in the Laser and Photonics industry. At each booth, companies would spend time discussing their new products in great detail, explaining how it worked and how it could be used.

While in San Francisco, the group also took time to tour the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Labs (LLNL) in Livermore, Calif. At NIF, research is ongoing to create self-sustaining fusion energy using 192 laser beams housed in an area the size of three football fields. The 192 laser beams focus on a target smaller than a BB-gun pellet to create the fusion energy. Joining the tour with current CCCC Laser students were previous CCCC Laser graduates presently employed by LLNL -- Al Delong (2015), Thomas Martin (2016), and David Pope (2016). During lunch after the tour, the previous graduates discussed with the current students what it is like working at the LLNL national ignition facility and how much they enjoy working at LLNL.

Central Carolina Community College has a student chapter of SPIE in its photonics curriculum. The conference trip was partly funded through the student chapter, and through LASER-TEC, a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant in which the CCCC Laser program participates. Photonics is the study of the use of light, such as lasers, for industrial and other purposes.

In addition to attending the conference, participants had opportunities to network with colleagues, conference speakers, and vendors, and to expand their knowledge and understanding of the field of optics and photonics, as well as new and exciting photonics technologies.

To learn more about Central Carolina Community College's Laser & Photonics Technology program, contact Beasley at (910) 814-8828 or by email at gbeasley@cccc.edu. To learn more about SPIE, visit spie.org.