CCCC Laser program hosts international guests
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Dr. Jyrki Saarinen, Professor at the University of Eastern Finland and Head of Institute of Photonics, ... (more)
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Mr. Juha Purmonen, Executive Director of the Finland Photonics Cluster, recently visited the Laser ... (more)
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Wasatch Scientist Michael Matthews (left) explains how a Raman Spectrometer works. Pictured with Matthews ... (more)
LILLINGTON - Mr. Juha Purmonen, Executive Director of the Finland Photonics Cluster, and Dr. Jyrki Saarinen, Professor at the University of Eastern Finland and Head of Institute of Photonics, recently visited the Laser and Photonics program at Central Carolina Community College.
The two guests met with the CCCC SPIE Laser Club student chapter on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Welcoming the two guests were CCCC SPIE student chapter president Isabelle Karis along with other CCCC Laser and Photonics students; CCCC Engineering Department Chair Constance Boahn; CCCC Harnett Provost Dr. Jon Matthews; CCCC Electronics Instructor Jon LaVere, and CCCC Lead Laser Instructor Gary Beasley. SPIE is an international society promoting an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light.
Purmonen presented information on the Finland Photonics Cluster, which is a professional organization of industry, academia, and government focused on creating a positive growth atmosphere for Photonics Technology. He noted that the European Commission named Photonics as one of the European Union's key enabling technologies. Currently, the Finland Photonics Cluster has 30 industry partners and is continuing to grow.
Saarinen spoke about photonics education in Finland. He explained the levels of education presently in Finland and how industry is pushing for photonics technicians (two-year Associate Degree training) because of the enormous growth of the industry and the lack of qualified people to hire.
Purmonen and Saarinen said their industry partners have asked them to implement a photonics technician program in Finland to help close the gap in the available qualified photonics workforce. They heard about the Central Carolina Community College Laser and Photonics program and contacted Lead Instructor Gary Beasley requesting a tour.
Following their presentation to the SPIE student chapter, Purmonen and Saarinen heard a presentation by SPIE Laser Club President Isabelle Karis, about the CCCC Laser and Photonics program, including the history of the program, curriculum details, and the high demand for graduates.
During the presentation, many of the questions asked by Purmonen and Saarinen were to gain a better understanding of what it would take to implement a similar program in Finland. The visitors toured the CCCC Laser and Photonics classrooms and high-energy labs, learning how the program was designed to give students the right amount of both theory and hands-on training to prepare them for a successful photonics career.
Karis and Beasley then accompanied the two visitors to Wasatch Photonics in Research Triangle Park for an afternoon tour of a local photonics company. When planning the trip from Finland, Purmonen and Saarinen mentioned how they would love to visit a photonics company in the area that has hired CCCC Laser and Photonics graduates. Jeff Taylor, Wasatch Vice President of Operations, welcomed the possibility of hosting the guests from Finland. Wasatch Photonics is an international company that designs, manufactures, and sells Raman Spectrometers, Gratings, and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) equipment worldwide.
Several Wasatch Photonics team members are previous CCCC Laser and Photonics program graduates. While touring Wasatch, Purmonen and Saarinen were able to get a look at some of the sophisticated equipment being assembled and tested. Some of the Wasatch team members also explained some of the designs and technology that helps Wasatch be a leader in the field of Raman Spectroscopy. Previous CCCC Laser students working at Wasatch came to meet the tour members and said how much they enjoyed working at Wasatch.
To learn more about the CCCC Laser and Photonics Technology program, contact Gary Beasley at 910-814-8828 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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