In This Issue

  • SBIR Wins
  • Regional Photonics Cluster Elections
  • Geospatial Equipment Used In Haiti
  • Optics Outreach
  • New Equipment Acquisitions
  • Meeting Impossible Specs
  • Events

UR Institute of Optics

49th Annual Optics Summer School

June 7– June 25, 2010
(see the flyer here)

The Institute of Optics will offer its 49th annual Summer School short-course series in June, 2010. This year’s offering will be a mix of a one-week course and two-and-a-half-day courses.

  1. Fundamentals of Optics (with labs)
    June 7-9, 2010
  2. Modern Optical Engineering (with labs)
    June 9-11, 2010
  3. Lasers and Optoelectronics (with labs)
    June 7-9, 2010
  4. Biomedical Optics
    June 9-11, 2010
  5. Non-Imaging Optics
    June 7-9, 2010
  6. Opto-Mechanical Analysis (with labs)
    June 9-11, 2010
  7. Optical Thin Film Coating Technology
    June 21-25, 2010
  8. Electron Microscopy (with labs)
    June 23-25, 2010

Geospatial Systems Equipment Used In Haiti

Equipment Used For Mapping Following Haiti Earthquake

Not long after the earthquake in Haiti, a group of researchers from the Rochester Institute of Technology began gathering data from aircraft flying over the devastated country. The plane was equipped with optical laser sensors and high definition imagery. The images are helpful in speeding recovery and research efforts.

The technology used to create those images was originally developed, in part, through a NYSTAR administered grant at the University of Rochester Center for Advanced Technology. A partnership developed between the U of R, RIT and GSI. This is an example of a technology investment that really paid off in human terms.

In a letter to the researchers involved in the technology development, Governor Paterson wrote, “Thanks to the partnership between GSI, the University of Rochester, and RIT, the advanced imaging technology was available to generate much needed mapping information very quickly, assisting aid workers in finding routes to deliver services to people in the greatest need. The project also enabled damage assessment to be completed much sooner than would have been possible in the past. The impacts of this technology are immediate and have strengthened New York State’s integral, multifaceted role in the ongoing international relief effort. Your work has been critical not only in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake but in laying the foundation for the long-term reconstruction and redevelopment of Haiti.”


Optimax Delivers Mirror for NSLS-II

Optimax Systems has been successful in learning to make synchrotron mirrors — creating a new niche for the New York business, and for the U.S. Optics Industry.

The initial project, an XPS Microscope that is being developed in anticipation of the new NSLS-II being constructed at Brookhaven National Laboratory, requires aiming an x-ray beam couldn’t be aimed in the exact spot required for the microscope’s design. He decided that a new toroidal mirror was needed to focus the x-ray beam in the proper location.. order to reach high-intensity laser-like x-ray beam to be focused precisely onto a small region where nanomaterials are inserted. While “breathing life” into the prototype, Dan Fischer, the NIST physicist who is leading the project, found that the x-ray beam couldn’t be aimed in the exact spot required for the microscope’s design. He decided that a new toroidal mirror was needed to focus the x-ray beam in the proper location.

The simple solution quickly became difficult for the team after they learned that there are no U.S. companies that manufacture these synchrotron mirrors. Peter Takacs, a physicist in Brookhaven’s Instrumentation Division, presented the problem to Optimax, which specializes in the rapid fabrication of optics for devices such as cameras and telescopes.

The project opened the way for Optimax and other local companies with similar capabilities to manufacture synchrotron optics that could meet the specialized needs of the numerous synchrotrons located around the world, in addition to Brookhaven’s NSLS and NSLS-II.

Read More Here.


Sydor Expands Capability

Sydor Optics has placed orders with PR Hoffman exceeding $1M for additional double-sided machines due to 2009 growth and increasing customer volumes.

On order are three more PR Hoffman 5400 double-sided machines with deliveries starting in in May 2010. This adds much-needed capacity along with additional capability to grind & polish large optics in the 24" diameter range. Also purchased is another PR Hoffman 1500 double-sided polisher for polishing thin optics down to 0.150mm thick.

Sydor Optics continues to develop the largest capacity to manufacture plano-parallel optics using double-sided equipment in the US.

John Albright, General Manager of PR Hoffman says, "Sydor Optics is now the largest owner of PR Hoffman machines in the world."



JML Optical Industries mourned the passing of Richard (Dick) Bachelder. Dick passed peacefully on March, 23, 2010 after complications from surgery in the fall of 2009.

Shortly after graduating from Edison Technical high school (Rochester, NY) Dick joined Ilex Optical on Portland Avenue and was part of their apprentice/management training program. As part of that training Dick graduated from the New York State Optical Apprentice Program. Part of his time at Ilex was spent at Dorn Optical in Webster, NY making very high volume lenses and prisms.

Dick joined JML Optical in April 1973 as its Manufacturing Manager, JML's third coworker and one of the early shareholders. He had total responsibility to put together JML's optical fabrication facility on the third floor of the Wollensak building on Hudson Avenue, in Rochester. When JML moved to its Portland Avenue location, Dick was promoted to V.P. - Manufacturing and was the undisputed driving force in JML's early growth and the reputation it maintains today in the optical industry. As Joe Lobozzo, JML's President/CEO puts it, "Dick was loved by all who worked with him and knew him outside of optics. He will always be known for his compassion for people as well as being "tough" enough to make the impossible a reality. Time and time again when customers relied on JML for short deliveries and/or difficult optics. Dick was born with this rare combination. I will miss him greatly, mostly as a wonderful friend."

Dick's health had been failing in recent years and he had retired from JML Optical in December 2006. He is survived by a cousin, Bill Tuffey, who was always available to be with his beloved cousin. Bill has been JML's Purchasing Agent for more than 30 years. Dick was also survived by Micki and Ted Snacki his close friends.

It was Dick's wish that any donations be made to the Golisano's Children's Hospital.


Cornell CCMR Facilities 101

Facilities 101 is an in-depth introduction to the laboratories, equipment, and staff managed by Cornell Center for Materials Research and made available to industry. This one-day course provides an opportunity to meet one-on-one with the technical staff managing the facilities, take a walking tour of the labs, see demonstrations of the equipment, and discuss your particular interests with an expert.

Who should attend:

Technical directors, product managers, engineers, technicians, and consultants looking to better understand Cornell's capabilities in materials analysis, processing, and problem-solving. Everyone who attends will walk away with a greater understanding of the resources available at CCMR.

Friday, April 23, 2010 9:30 am - 4:00 pm
ILR Conference Center Room 229 on the Cornell campus
$100 (includes lunch, parking, and reference materials on facilities)

Click here to register.

Events and Conferences

Ongoing Colloquia Series
University of Rochester Institute of Optics
Rochester, NY, USA

16 - 21 May, 2010
San Jose, California

Photonics North
1 -3 June, 2010
Fallsview Casino Resort
Niagara Falls, Canada

Optical Fabrication & Testing
13 - 16 June, 2010
Jackson Hole, Wyoming

15 -18 June, 2010
Frankfurt, Germany

OSA Annual / Frontiers In Optics
24 - 28 October, 2010
Rochester, New York


Save The Dates

RRPC Networking


Thursday, April 22, 2010

5:30 - 7:00 PM

Location: Sydor Optics

31 Jet View Drive
Rochester, NY 14624


This event is for RRPC members and their employees only. Please register by sending an email to Tom Battley ASAP. There is a limit to the number of attendees. Refreshments will be served and tours offered.


Because of some conflicts, a number of members have asked us to change the networking days. Please mark the second Thursday of the month on your calendar for RRPC networking events in 2010.

WNY Golf Tournament


This year's Western New York Optics Golf Tournament will be held on July 15th at The Shadows Golf Courses in Rochester. Stay tuned.


The Tournament is recruiting volunteers to help with this year’s efforts. If you or your company is interested in sponsoring or volunteering for the biggest Optics Event in Western New York please contact Ron and Diane Schulmerich at wnyoptics[(at)] or call them at 585-455-4447.


RRPC Elections

New Additions to RRPC Board


Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster members elected new board members in March.

  • William Hurley, President, Rochester Precision Optics
  • Michael Mandina, President, Optimax Systems
  • Michael Naselaris, General Manager, Sydor Optics
  • Paul Tolley, CEO Infotonics Technology Center

Stepping down are Andrew Germanow, President & CEO G-S PLASTIC OPTICS; David Henderson, President & CEO, New Scale Technologies; Rick Plympton, CEO Optimax Systems; James Sydor, President & CEO Sydor Optics.



Lumetrics awarded Phase 1 SBIR From NIH

Lumetrics, in collaboration with Eyeon Inc., the University of Rochester Department of Ophthalmology and ASE Optics Inc. has been awarded a Phase 1 SBIR ffrom the National Institute for Health for the development of a portable Retina Camera.


The goal of this Phase 1 award is to determine if a lower cost portable imaging system can capture retinal images and facilitate the use of these images in general medicine.


“Using the optical design capabilities of ASE Optics and Lumetrics along with the clinical expertise of the University of Rochester and Eyeon, Inc. we should be able to provide a proof of principle design that will demonstrate quality useful retinal images” said Filipp Ignatovich, Principle Scientist at Lumetrics.


"Rochester is well-known as one of the most significant regions in the world where expertise in precision optics and design -- as well as tremendous clinical expertise in Ophthalmology -- come together to develop cutting edge new products.” said Todd Blalock, CTO of Lumetrics.

Optimax Systems' VIBE Moves Forward


Optimax was recently awarded a Phase I SBIR from NASA on the topic of "Removing Mid-Spatial Frequency Errors with VIBE."


The VIBE process is a full-aperture, conformal polishing process incorporating high frequency motion that rapidly removes sub-surface damage in a VIBE pre-polish step and eliminates mid-spatial frequency (MSF) errors created by deterministic polishing in a VIBE finishing step. This Phase I study will focus on the VIBE finishing step to remove MSF errors while at the same time maintaining the desired low spatial frequency form accuracy.


A New Standard for Asphere Specification

There is growing momentum in the optical engineering community to change the way we describe aspheric surfaces. The new proposal by Greg Forbes allows us to make aspheric optics which are as powerful as the current general even aspheres for image correction, but which are simpler to optimize, easier to understand, cheaper to manufacture, and easier to test. And while the optics community is not famous for rapid adoption of great new ideas, the speed at which the “Forbes Asphere” is moving is worthy of our attention.


The equation for general aspheric optics has been around for a while. Karl Schwarzschild published a series of papers in 1905, which ushered in the “conic constant” and a family of aspheric optics for astronomy and microscopy. But the more general equation for aspheric optics dates back 1936, when scientists were trying to understand what Bernhard Schmidt did to correct spherical aberration in his “Schmidtspiegel”, or Schmidt camera.




Dave Aikens is president and founder of Savvy Optics. He lives in central Connecticut with his wife and three children, two cats, and about ten chickens.


Regional JIEDDO Contact

The Joint Improvised Explosives Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) has issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the competitive selection of basic and applied research. Awards for submissions under the BAA are planned in Fiscal Year 2010.


The Department of Defense (DoD) is soliting proposals for the development of innovative capabilities to defeat IEDs employed against U.S. and coalition forces anywhere in the world, but especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. JIEDDO is seeking innovative counter-IED capabilities that can be rapidly developed, demonstrated, and deployed within 12 to 24 months from award. However, JIEDDO is willing to entertain less mature systems with a potentially high payoff. Proposals must address one of the following five solicitation areas:

  • Detect, neutralize or mitigate person-borne IEDs
  • Detect, neutralize or mitigate buried IEDs or pressure initiation devices
  • Provide stand-off detection and confirmation of explosives or chemical compounds associated with explosives
  • Detect, neutralize or mitigate explosively formed penetrators
  • Counter-IED Medical Science and Technologies
  • Any additional technology, information, or recommendations that would enhance existing counter-IED systems

For a closer look at the BAA and other opportunities go here


To discuss the BAA with a JIEDDO representative, contact:


Betty Laird
Innovative Business & Technology Consultant
(703) 677-5083 betty.laird [AT]



Optics Pro Presents to Enthusiastic Familes


Rick Nasca, Finishing Technology Leader at Corning Tropel offered a presentation about Careers in Optics to 40 high-schoolers and their parents at Gates Chili High School (Rochester, NY). Attached is the power point presentation Rick used during his talk: an overview of Corning, New Technologies and Corning Tropel, focusing on optics and the need for young, energetic people to enter into the field.


Rick talked about the education required for the career and the different levels within the profession, MCC Certificate & Associates in Optics and the University of Rochester Optics Degree.


The audience was enthusiastic and reports are that Nasca dealt with a flood of students and parents after the presentation.


Contact RRPC

How does one acquire the coveted RRPC Newsletter Cub Reporter Badge?


Luke, you finally got yours but I didn't see you wearing it at Photonics West. Everyone else: contact us with industry news and be the first in your office to wear one (or hide it in your desk).


New York Photonics and the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster are active and growing collaborative organizations. Efforts are under way on joint training events, workforce development, collaborative advertising opportunities, promoting the commercialization of I.P., and the development of our website to further facillitate business development.


Join us! There are advantages to working together, and we are interested in working with you. Send an email to us at

To subscribe, to unsubscribe, to submit a news item or upcoming event, to suggest a feature or column, or to offer feedback, contact Tom Battley, at 585-329-4029.



Copyright 2010, Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster, Inc.

New York Photonics and The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC) are not-for-profit organizations founded to promote and enhance the New York State photonics, optics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.