Photonics is one of the fastest growing high-tech industries in the world today. It includes optical communications (e.g., fiber optics, lasers, and infrared links), optical imaging (e.g., spy and weather satellites, night vision, holography, flat screen display, and CCD video cameras), optical data storage (e.g., CDs and CD-ROMs), optical detectors (e.g., supermarket scanners, medical optics, and nondestructive evaluation of materials), lasers (e.g., welding lasers, laser surgery, laser shows, and laser rangefinders), spectroscopy (e.g., chemical analysis and detection), and quantum optics (e.g., quantum cryptography, quantum computing, and single-photon detection).
Although the photonics industry is growing rapidly, photonics companies have a hard time finding qualified people because the interdisciplinary field crosses physics, physical chemistry, and electrical engineering. The photonics certificate program at the University of Pittsburgh will give this kind of cross-cutting experience and allow students to move directly into the photonics industry. The Certificate in Photonics will also serve as good preparation for graduate school in solid state physics, physical chemistry, or electrical engineering with optoelectronics emphasis.
Students in the certificate program will have opportunities for laboratory research with professors at the University of Pittsburgh and will also receive special job placement referrals.