Photonics Technician Training

Materials for teaching the next generation of photonics technicians

SPIE strongly believes in workforce development and supporting the technician pipeline. We are proud to partner in making the following materials available free of charge.

The Advanced Manufacturing and Integrated Photonics (AMIP) certificate program was created by Stonehill College and Bridgewater State University in cooperation with the Initiative for Knowledge and Innovation in Manufacturing (IKIM) at MIT, with funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

The goal of the program is to prepare students with no prior background for immediate employment in the manufacturing industry, particularly in optics- and photonics-related companies. The program consists of 12 months of classes, followed by an internship in a local company in eastern Massachusetts, with the students earning a certificate after the internship.

One of the end products required by the ONR grant is a set of course modules that can be used as a basis for instructors at other institutions to build their own programs. The files on this website provide those modules. The structure of the courses and the topics they covered varied widely, and so the formats and contents of these modules also vary from course to course. But generally, the contents include syllabi, PowerPoint presentations, sample labs and assignments, reference documents, and links to videos or additional course materials provides by other providers.

The courses were prepared with industry input and aimed to build the skills that area companies wanted in their new technicians. Although some background in areas such as math, computer skills, optics, and circuit theory are covered, the emphasis is heavily on developing hands-on skills with fabrication tools and measurement devices.  Practice was also conducted in workplace skills such as writing reports, keeping lab notebooks, giving presentations, and participating in job interviews. Some of the courses included attainment of other certifications, such as online OSHA safety training, in order to complete the course.

The first cohort of students finished the program in August of 2021, with the graduates finding themselves in high demand among local employers. They quickly found employment in a range of local manufacturing firms, as well as at MIT Lincoln Labs; several students were offered permanent positions in the companies they had interned with.  Students in this first class ranged in age from their late teens to their early 50’s. Some were recent high school graduates, some had some prior college background, while others had been out of school for decades and were making a career move from jobs in retail or office work.