In the 50 short years since Theodore Maiman demonstrated the first laser, the uses for this amazing instrument have quite literally skyrocketed. The potential for its application by agencies such as NASA is astounding.
Known commonly by its acronym, LASER, the Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation continues to be an amazing discovery. According to techradar.com, some of the mind-boggling uses being developed for laser beams include a holographic optical disc, atom-teasing optical tweezers and even the creation of stars on Earth. While those may be years away from any real practical use there are common uses today that are just as astounding, such as treating cancer tumors, undergoing delicate eye surgery while you’re awake and many military applications.
In 1969, Texas State Technical College established the first laser electro-optics program of its kind in the nation. It features lab equipment valued at more than $40 million. Today the program continues to lend TSTC’s technical advantage to its graduates working in some of the most respected research and development labs in the nation.
What you’ll do!
TSTC’s star power prep
In addition to the necessary education, TSTC’s Laser Electro-Optics faculty members come to the college with years of professional experience in their fields. Several hold membership in SPIE, an international society advancing light-based research
TSTC’s faculty members continually gain technical knowledge, and keep up-to-date on the latest developments in the nanotechnology field, with ties to organizations such as the Optical Society of America and the Laser Institute of America.
Small class size
At TSTC, our Laser classes average 20 students per class to ensure instructors have plenty of time to work with each student.
Compared to other colleges, TSTC students spend a lot less time in the classroom and much more time in work settings, operating the instruments they will use in their respective fields. Students are engaged more than 60 percent of their time in performing the actual work they will do upon graduating from college. It’s just one of the many ways TSTC ensures you get the strong training you need to succeed in your laser electro-optics career.
TSTC students also gain a technical advantage from the college's partnership with the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education, or OP-TEC, one of just nine such colleges in the nation to partner with the center.
TSTC has a strong partnership with Baylor University and the Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics & Engineering Research, actually located on the TSTC campus.
Students in the program also have the opportunity to network with industry professionals through the program's Advisory Committee, as well as with the program's Photonics Club. After entering the field, graduates are encouraged to join organizations such as the International Association of Nanotechnology and the Nanotechnology Industries Association.
With an advisory committee consisting of current laser and photonic professionals, who meet at least annually to direct the program’s curriculum, TSTC ensures its program matches industry needs. This partnership makes it easier for TSTC graduates to be work ready and obtain jobs when the time comes to search for a professional position. Many major companies understand the important part they play by serving on a TSTC advisory committee.
Education by employer design! As laser and photonic professionals, our advisory committee members assist the college in determining the courses you study, providing a valuable advantage. They can ensure that what we teach matches what their industry is seeking.