The Centre for Optical and Laser Engineering (COLE) at the Nanyang Technological University aims to promote the growth and development of Optical Engineering in Singapore through collaborative research and development between academicians and industry. This will, thus make COLE the “go to” place for industry and prospective students/researchers to solve existing problems and develop new technologies in this growing field. To achieve this goal COLE has four thrust areas – Research, Education, Industry and Outreach. With a team of Professors from diverse backgrounds ranging from Optics to Mechanics to MEMS and Microsystems to Nanotechnology to Biomedical, the research activities at COLE are multi-disciplinary and cutting edge with publications in Nature, Optics Express and other leading journals. To support the local industry COLE has developed a Master’s specialization in Optical Engineering along with the Optics and Photonics Society of Singapore. Students with background in Engineering and Physics are trained in the areas of Optical Design, Metrology and Instrumentation and Laser Assisted Manufacturing. They are also encouraged to complete an Industry driven project. Apart from this, there is an existing strong cohort of PhD students working in multi-disciplinary projects from 4D Microscopy to Long distance vibrometry to biomedical optical instrumentation to beam shaping for laser assisted printing. For industry, there are different schemes of interaction from industrial partnership program to research collaborative projects. The Industrial Post-graduate Program (IPP) offered by EDB is also an exciting prospect for industry to grow their talent pool in this area. Finally Optical Engineering being a relatively new specialization, it has to be promoted to the younger generation when they are making their career choices. Projects with high schools and polytechnics are routinely offered by COLE to highlight the importance of Optical and Laser Technology in the current industrial and research setting.
On behalf of COLE, I would like to invite all interested parties from high school students to industrial engineers to visit COLE and see how they can be involved with this 21st century’s enabling technology and their application. It is worth noting that 2015 has been designated as the International Year of Light by the United Nations - so let there be light in your new endeavours.
Professor Anand Asundi
Centre for Optical and Laser Engineering