IRSC to host Optics & Photonics Industry Symposium/Community Festival April 12

news release

More than 100 attendees from industry, academia and government throughout the United States—including leaders from the International Optics and Photonics Society/OPTICA (formerly OSA) and the Center for Optics Manufacturing/AmeriCOM and senior representatives from two national laboratories—will convene at Indian River State College’s Massey Campus on Wednesday, April 12, for a discussion of photonics and optics technologies and its worldwide impact on industry sectors such as space exploration, defense, energy, advanced manufacturing, telecommunications, healthcare and testing and measuring.

The invitation-only symposium, presented in cooperation with LASER-TEC and the Florida Photonics Cluster, will be held from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the IRSC Kight Center for Emerging Technologies in Fort Pierce. The impressive speaker line-up includes:

  • United States Congressman Brian Mast, 21st Congressional District & Co-chair of the Congressional Optics & Photonics Caucus
  • Dr. Timothy Moore, President, Indian River State College
  • Dr. Andrew Brown, Senior Director of Global Business Development, International Society for Optics and Photonics
  • Dr. Jay Kumler, President, Jenoptik North America
  • Dr. Zhi Liao, Workforce Manager, Laurence Livermore National Lab, National Ignition Facility, California
  • Dr. Alexey Glebov, General Manager & President, OptiGrate- IPG Photonics
  • Dr. Ty Olmstead, Vice President for Engineering, Ocean Optics
  • Albert Miranda, Chief Financial Officer, LightPath Technologies
  • Natalia Chekhovskaya, Executive Director Advanced  Manufacturing and Principal Investigator & Director of the National Center for Lasers and Fiber Optics education, LASER-TEC

“From the National Science Foundation’s LASER-TEC center to businesses like Jenoptik, the Treasure Coast is leading the way in optics and photonics,” said Congressman Brian Mast. “This is an industry that is shaping the future. I applaud Indian River State College, LASER-TEC and the Florida Photonics Cluster for hosting these critical conversations about the potential of optics and photonics and how to grow the skilled workforce to foster innovation.”

A family-friendly Optics & Photonics Community Festival will immediately follow the symposium in the Kight Center Atrium from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The free, all-ages event will feature hands-on activities, lectures, and tours that illuminate the role of photonics and lasers in everyday life and the future:

  • Go hands-on in the Maker’s Corner and take home a light-inspired craft
  • Learn how laser fusion can create sustainable energy for our planet
  • Explore the evolution of telescopes
  • Take guided tours of IRSC Photonics, High-Power Laser and Quantum Photonics labs
  • Marvel at “A World of Light,” a display of images from artists around the globe
  • View project displays from students in IRSC’s Laser Club
  • Take a selfie with a giant lens

The IRSC Optics & Photonics Community Festival is made possible with the support of Indian River State College, LASER-TEC, Florida Photonics Cluster and Jenoptik Optical Systems.

For more information about the Symposium or the Festival, email Natalia Chekhovskaya at

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