In This Issue

  • Send In Your Photonics West Early Bird Contract to SPIE!
  • U.S. China Commission News
  • Optipro's Nacy-Army SBIR Review
  • New Mexico WIRED Supports Optics
  • Zygo Rejects Bid
  • WNY Golf Toruney: Save The Date!
  • Optics Technician Workforce Development
  • New Hires at CDGM
  • Nanotech Symposium in Albany
  • LLE Seeking High School Student Interns
  • Events

U.S. China Commission

While many RRPC members were in San Francisco for Photonics West, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter hosted a round table on January 28th concerning U.S. / China Commission hearings held in Rochester last July.

The following are some of the ideas that were shared during the meeting, as well as next steps:

  • Foster a national Innovation Strategy to match China's five-year plans with continued support of research agencies like NIII and NSf
  • Match up federal, state and local resources to better facilitate an efficient model to commercialize innovation and innovative ideas
  • Reform U.S. trade policies to recreate reciprocity, enact anti-foreign currency manipulation practices and strategically promote a "Buy American" attitude
  • Aggressively defend the intellectual property of our businesses and their ideas
  • Grow our academic culture and funding to promote quality peer review, experimentation and academic excellence
  • Create an academic agenda that fosters students to pursue an education in science. technology, engineering and mathematics and to stay and work in our region
  • Oppose attempts by DoD to require suppliers to source components overseas
  • Better leverage public-private partnerships

Zygo Bid Rejected

Zygo's Board Unanimously Rejects Unsolicited Proposal From II-VI

On February 16 Zygo's board announced that the company's Board of Directors had unanimously rejected the January 5, 2010 proposal from II-VI Incorporated for the acquisition of all the outstanding common shares of ZYGO for $10.00 per share. The Board said that ZYGO is not for sale and that it is in the best interests of its shareholders to allow ZYGO's newly-named CEO, industry veteran Dr. Chris L. Koliopoulos, to pursue a standalone strategy to increase shareholder value. Koliopoulos was named President and CEO on January 19, 2010 and Chairman on February 12.

Koliopoulos received a BS from the University of Rochester and an MS and a PhD from the University of Arizona. He was named President and Chief Executive Officer of ADE, manufacturer of non contact metrology and developer of advanced surface topography technology for the semiconductor industry, in 2002 and was a director of ADE since 1998. He was also President and a founder of Phase Shift Technology, Inc., which became ADE Phase Shift a wholly-owned subsidiary of ADE. ADE was acquired by KLA Tencor in 2006.


Developing A Photonics Workforce Pipeline

40 Educators Convene at Monroe Community College To Learn About Instilling Optics in their Curricula

Educators from as far as Virginia, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Colorado joined teachers and administrators from the New York State region at Monroe Community College on February 4th and 5th for a two day Photonics Education Workshop led by Dr. John Souders, OP-TEC.

The session included discussions of the skills sets for photonics technicians and career pathways. Tom Battley, RRPC Executive Director gave a presentation about the Rochester region's diverse and thriving OPI industry. Dianna Phillips, Dean of Technical Education at MCC and Marcelo Guimares, head of the MCC Optics Program shared insights about MCC's programs.

The two-day event included a tour of the Applied Technology Center by Robert Lasch, MCC's Tooling & Machining Program Coordinator.

Photonics curricula and materials developed by OP-TEC, the National Center for Photonics Education where discussed and shared. OP-TEC's effort are funded by the National Science Foundation.

Of particular note were the number of high school level educators and administrators from the Rochester region in attendance. RRPC members have made an impact on awareness of the industry among high schools in the region with tours and outreach through numerous programs. MCC was recently awarded a "mini-grant" from OP-TEC to develop a 2010 summer program in optics for regional high school teachers.

The event also featured live video streamed presentations, including:

  • “Photonics in Biomedical and Homeland Security & Saving Your Electronics Program”, Dr. Chrys Panayiotou, Department Chair, Electronics Engineering Technology, Indian River State College (IRSC), Ft. Pierce, Florida
  • “Photonics in Manufacturing & Early College Program” Greg Kepner, Department Chair, Industrial Technology, Indian Hills Community College (IHCC), Ottumwa, Iowa
  • “Photonics at Central Carolina Community College” Gary Beasley, Lead Instructor, Laser and Photonics Technology, Central Carolina Community College, Lillington, North Carolina


New Mexico's Optics Industry Plays Strong Role in WIRED Grant

With a seat on the region's WIRED Board, New Mexico's Optics Industry was able to promote its industry agenda, and win a $377,000 grant (out of a total of $5 million) to develop its workforce pipeline in STEM academies.

The Transformational Goals of the New Mexico WIRED Grant included the following:

Transformational Goal #1: Construct a training pipeline for green manufacturing occupations in the region. The intent of goal one is to better define all the skills, knowledge, and competency requirements of the green manufacturing cluster and then to structure and reward regional mechanisms that are successfully directing workers into the targeted areas including educational institutions to best prepare students for these requirements.

New Mexico's WIRED Board included the grant to establish public school academies for Photonics Education as part of the implementation of a regional STEM strategy through utilization and modeling of the successful photonics academy.

  • Funding: $377,500 for teacher training on STEM curriculum as well as materials and lab equipment.
  • Leverage: $150,000 from public schools and Public Education Department to achieve all goals

Albuquerque’s West Mesa Photonics Academy is based upon a model of the NM Optics Industry Association was identified as the best principled approach and the right starting point for a larger regional collaboration and implementation.

Meanwhile, having spent three times the money as New Mexico ($15M) and despite a stated goal of supporting optics and photonics as "a sunrise industry" in the Finger Lakes WIRED community, precious little was focused upon supporting the region's Photonics Industry. Although support letters were solicited, the RRPC's workforce development agenda was not built in to the Finger Lakes Region's proposal in the first place.

The RRPC still struggles to find support for the Light Voyager, an initiative for helping science teachers teach optics at a time when the New York State Regents continue to diminish optics' role in the New York State curriculum. The intent is for the students to enter MCC's Optics Program, The University of Rochester's Institute of Optics, and RIT's Imaging Science Program.

The RRPC's efforts have continued, and increased during the same period as the Finger Lakes WIRED grant, but support has had to come mostly from other sources, including industry, Monroe Community College, the State Department of Labor and OP-TEC.


New Hires at CDGM

New National Sales Manager and Sales Associate at CDGM Glass Company USA

CDGM Glass Company USA announces the addition of John Reifenrath Jr. as the new National Sales Manager. Mr. Reifenrath will manage all sales and marketing efforts for CDGMs 3,000 square foot sales and distribution center. John contributes more than twenty years of sales and marketing experience to CDGM USA.

CDGM Class Company USA was established in 2006 in Rochester, NY as the exclusive North American distributor of optical glass products manufactured by CDGM Ltd. located in Chengdu, China.

CDGM USA, located in Winton Place, has a 3,000 square foot sales and distribution center that warehouses strip glass for immediate delivery. CDGM USA can also provide short lead times on cut blanks, molded blanks, ball lenses, prisms and optical elements.

CDGM Glass Company USA is also pleased to announce the addition of Zhimin "Paulina" He. Paulina recently joined the company after completing her training at the main CDGM factory in Chengdu, China. She is an experienced Sales Manager who will be working to improve business communications with the main factory to provide our important clients with better customer service. Please join us in welcoming her into our optics community.


2010 NY Nanotech Symposium

Presented by the Empire State Technology Group


Friday March 19, 2010, Noon to 6 PM
College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Albany, New York


The symposium and tradeshow will be held at the College of Nanocale Science and Engineering facility at the University at Albany, Albany, NY

  • A special colloquium in the auditorium adjacent to the exhibit area. This event is open to all employees in the Nanotech complex
  • CNSE houses the only fully-integrated, 300mm wafer, computer chip pilot prototyping and demonstration line within 80,000 square feet of Class 1 capable cleanrooms.
  • More than 2,500 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, and faculty work on site at this site including IBM, AMD, SONY, Toshiba, Qimonda, Honeywell, ASML, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron, and Freescale.
  • CNSE's Albany Nanotech Complex is the most advanced research facility of its kind at any university in the world: a $5 billion, 800,000-square-foot complex

CNSE encompasses four main constellations: nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanoeconomics and nanobioscience, alternative energy, R&D, fuel cells, LED.

Invited attendees include those from the technology companies and universities in the Albany area include GE and RPI Technology Incubator.

  • Six Short Courses on Thursday and Friday, March 18 & 19, 2010
  • Exhibits and Poster Session Friday, March 19, 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. (both table tops and booth space is available)
  • Attendance is limited to 30 exhibitors

At Noon CNSE will host a special colloquium in the auditorium adjacent to the exhibit area. This event is open to all employees in the Nanotech complex.

4:00 to 600 p.m. reception with hot & cold hors d ‘oeuvres and cash bar (vendors may purchase drink tickets for customers)

Contact Rick Rivers. 585.586.6906


Events and Conferences

If you know any high school juniors who might be candidates for the LLE High School Research Summer Program, the application process has begun!

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

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

SPIE Defense, Security & Sensing
5 - 9 April, 2010
Orlando, Florida, USA

16 - 21 May, 2010
San Jose, California

15 -18 June, 2010
Frankfurt, Germany

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

Save The Dates

RRPC Networking


Thursday, March 18, 2010

5:30 - 7:00 PM

Location: Rochester Precision Optics

850 John Street

West Henrietta, NY 14586


This event is for RRPC members and their employees only. The event is limited to 25 people so register by sending an email to Tom Battley ASAP.


Mark the third 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.


We are also recruiting volunteers to help with this year’s efforts. If you or your company is interested please contact Ron and Diane Schulmerich at wnyoptics[(at)] or call them at 585-455-4447.


LLE Summer High School Research

The Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) at the University of Rochester holds an annual summer research program for Rochester-area high school students who have just completed their junior year. The eight-week program provides an exceptional opportunity for highly motivated students to experience scientific research in a realistic environment. Students who are accepted into the program are assigned to a research project and supervised by a staff scientist at the Laboratory. These projects form an integral part of the research program of the Laboratory and are related to the Laboratory’s 60-beam OMEGA laser, one of the world’s most powerful fusion lasers, and the OMEGA EP laser, completed in 2008.


At the end of the program, the students present the results of their projects at a symposium in the Laboratory. The students also produce written project reports. The students work 40-hour weeks and are paid. The program is a commuter program and no provision is made for student housing during the summer.


Only students currently in their junior year are eligible. To apply, a student must submit a letter indicating his/her desire to take part in the program and fill out an application form. The student must also submit a short essay describing his/her interest in science and technology and his/her future goals. As supporting material, the student must submit a copy of his/her transcript and a letter of recommendation from a science or math teacher. Several applicants are interviewed before the final selection is made. Selections are announced by the beginning of May. United States citizenship is required.


Dr. R. Stephen Craxton, the Program Director, is at (585) 275-5467. This year's application process is going on now.


Optipro SBIR Review


On Tuesday January 12th OptiPro hosted its Winter Navy-Army SBIR Review meeting. The review, which took place in Rochester, NY, featured presentations from 10 organizations and approximately 70 participants representing 22 organizations from across the U.S.

In the morning session, nine invited speakers gave presentations on the design, manufacturing, and metrology of Hemispherical/Ogive Missile Domes and Freeform Optics.

Dan Harris, Optipro's Navy technical advisor, made the following remarks, "The Navy-Army SBIR program on optical fabrication technology development for conformal optics and aerodynamic domes has reached a level of maturity and a critical mass such that it is attracting substantial interest from the optics community and potential end users. The program is developing technologies to manufacture windows, domes, and lenses with previously unattainable shapes that will enable radically new designs for optical systems." 

Brian Jones, Optipro's Army advisor, agreed and said "the meeting surpassed all my expectations from the amount of interest in advancing the art of precision optical manufacturing to the number of companies/universities willing to share information. This is certainly an impressive group working toward a common goal."

In the afternoon session, nine individual presentations were given by OptiPro personnel including various topics on High Speed Hemispherical Dome Processing, Metrology,UltraForm Finishing, and Deterministic Micro-Grinding.

The meeting wrapped up with a "Live Demo Happy Hour" at OptiPro where everyone enjoyed a great opportunity to see our machines in action and to network with other attendees.


To see pictures of this event, go to OptiPro's facebook page by clicking on the following link: Winter Navy-Army SBIR Review Meeting


Photonics West

SPIE Photonics West 2010
Total Registered Attendance: 18,327

  • 4,889 Conference Attendees
  • 7,245 Exhibition-Only Visitors
  • 6,193 Exhibitor Representatives
  • 80 New York Companies Exhibiting
  • 63 Technical Courses and Workshops
  • 80 Conferences with 3500 Technical Presentations

Reports from New York Photonics members during and after the show suggest that the industry is experiencing a resurgence.


SPIE hosted a special Cluster reception on Monday, January 25 during Photonics West. During a special presentation, Peter Hallett SPIE's Manager of Industry Relations asked attendees of they could gauge the size of the photonics industry.


What is our economic impact? How many jobs are there? What is our impact on everyday life?


To extend a mantra often touted by Bob Breault, if the twentieth century was the century of the electron, and the twenty-first century the century of the photon, asking how big photonics is is akin to asking how large the electronics industry is. Or fossil fuels for that matter. Photonics and Optics enable every single industry the world over, and trying to measure economic impact may be too large a target.


What metrics would we use as an industry to evaluate our own impact? What levels of participation could we anticipate? How can we begin to measure our impact? What use would the measures be?

Hallett finally asked the assembled group, Should we form a Team, including Cluster people? The answer was a unanimous yes.


The Truth About Stratch And Dig

The scratch standard is only a cosmetic standard... The scratch standard is only a cosmetic standard... The scratch standard is only a cosmetic standard…

For more than fifty years, the de facto standard method of describing surface quality in optics has been with a pair of numbers referred to as the scratch and dig specification. And for almost as long, people have been trying to use this cosmetic standard to control surface imperfections on precision optics, where scratches and digs affect the performance of the system.


The result has been disastrous, as you might have predicted. The truth is that the scratch and dig specification of MIL-PRF-13830B is a highly subjective visibility standard, which is excellent for cosmetics, but insufficiently quantitative for performance-based specifications.


This is not a secret. Matt Young made this blazingly clear in his 1985 article “The scratch standard is only a cosmetic standard." In 1985, there wasn’t much we could do about it. There was no way to specify scratches and digs that was quantitative, objective, and did not require extensive capitalization. In 1996, with the publication of ISO 10110 Part 7, there was an alternative. But ISO 10110-7 was cryptic and arcane, and aside from a few stalwarts, it never really became common practice. Finally, in 2009, the new version of OP1.002 offered an alternative that is familiar, easy to use, and effective for people who really require a functional specification. By offering both visibility and dimensional methods, OP1.002-2009 is the only standard I recommend these days.


And it’s not a width standard, either!


Because of an unfortunate revision to C7641866 in 1974, which was used by the Army to purchase some experimental scratch artifacts, there is a significant number of people who refer to the scratch number as “the width in microns.” This is simply not true, and never has been. But because such an “interpretation” is easier to meet, many optics shops will claim this in their specification documentation, on the assumption that their customer doesn’t understand the requirement. Shame on them. This is just plain wrong. Scratch visibility and scratch width are not well correlated. Not only is it a misinterpretation of the MIL standard, it is the source of much of the confusion and conflict over the scratch and dig standard.


It’s time to tell the truth.


Perhaps because of this confusion, the commercially available comparison standards have diverged. While the Army has maintained its own calibrated supply for military purchases, the commercially available standards cannot be certified against the masters. As a result, the comparison standards made by one supplier don’t necessarily have the same apparent brightness as a set made by another supplier. Each is different, and the customer should indicate which he intends to use to interpret his specification. Such a clarification is reasonable for the manufacturer to make; claiming to interpret the scratch number as a width specification is not.


This is a call to action to all you optics manufacturers, and to all you informed users of the scratch and dig standard. Stop this madness, and start telling the truth about scratch and dig. You know the real meaning of the scratch number; it is arbitrary, and corresponds to the visibility of the scratch, referenced to a pair of limit standards retained by the US Army ARDEC at Picatinny Arsenal. Take those disclaimers and incorrect scratch width documents off your website. Start taking exception honorably by saying “we will interpret your scratch and dig spec per ANSI/OEOSC OP1.002-2009, using the xx calibration standard.” And the next time you get a call from a customer’s QA department, start the discussion by telling him the truth about scratch and dig.


If you want to learn the story of scratch and dig in all its glory, take my OEOSC accredited course “Understanding Scratch and Dig.” I teach it periodically at conferences, as well as offering on-site training.


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.

In Sales Winning is Everything

The age old saying, “It’s not whether you win or loose, it’s how you play the game” is not quite accurate when it comes to sales. When you play the game better than your competitor, you will win the game of sales.


In today’s competitive environment, rarely is there a product or service that is so clearly differentiated from their competitors that the win doesn’t come down to the actions of the sales person driving the winning pursuit. The primary reason that a sales person losses a sale is because they are outsold.


Let’s take a few moments to test this theory. If you are outselling your competitors, you are consistently doing the following:

  1. Connecting with all members of your client’s decision making team, and validating your solution with each of them
  2. Confirming that the initiative is a high priority, has a compelling reason to buy and a clarified buying timeframe
  3. Aligning your solution correctly in terms of scope, schedule and cost
  4. You are in compliance with all legal and procurement terms and conditions
  5. Understanding who you are competing with aligning your solution to be the best “fit” for your client
  6. You have developed a business case that clearly exhibits return on investment in terms that are important to your client
  7. Your presentation plan includes executive sponsorship from both parties.

Competency in working through the above steps, will result in you winning your fair share. In fact you will win more than 70% of the time.


And that’s how the sales game is played and won…


Joe Morone has over 20 years of leadership experience building global teams. An accomplished corporate strategist and business developer, Joe knows that companies are made or broken on the quality of their sales teams Contact Joe at Worldleaders


Contact RRPC

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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.


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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.