Teaching lens, optical systems and optomechanical systems design at
the Irvine Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT)
Valentina V. Doushkina,
Donn M. Silberman
2572 White Road, Irvine, CA 92614
Optics Institute of Southern California, 1350 Reynolds Ave., Irvine, CA 92614
PI (Physik Instrumente) L.P., 5420 Trabuco Rd., Irvine, CA
Irvine Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, 1350 Reynolds Ave., Irvine, CA 92614
For well over a decade, the Laser Electro-Optics Technology (LET) program has been teaching introductory laser and
optics classes at Irvine Valley College (IVC). At the beginning of the telecom boom, the Irvine CACT was established to
teach optics fabrication to support the many optics fabrication businesses in Southern California. In the past few years,
these two programs have merged – with some help from the Optics Institute of Southern California (OISC) - and grown
under the newly established Advanced Technology and Education Park (ATEP). IVC and ATEP are both operated by
the South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD). This year a new program of three courses was
established to teach, in sequence, lens, optical systems and optomechanical systems design. This paper reviews the
reasons for establishing these courses and their content, the students’ motivations for taking them and their employers’
incentives for encouraging the students.
Lens design, optical system design, optomechanical design
This new three course optical instrument design program was established to meet the growing needs of the local optics
industry and is filling a need to have trained engineers and designers skilled in the art of design and associated analysis
of lenses, advanced optical systems and optomechanical systems.
Traditionally and currently, there are many firms who
have very good and experienced lens and optical systems designers and engineers and also mechanical designers and
engineers; however, many times there seems to be a gap between the two groups.
This programs aims to fill that gap by
training students on both sides of the equation.
Student prequalification for entrance into this program includes a solid
fundamental knowledge of optics.
For students who have not completed this type of education Irvine CACT also offers
introductory optics fundamentals, lasers and fiber optics courses.
The optical instrument design program starts with an introductory hands-on lens design course which provides three
manual, design code,
Manual skills include first and third order calculations by
skills include prescription entry, optimization and design analysis and
selecting a starting point and developing a plan of the design.
The second course covers advanced optical systems
design and analysis beginning with modeling coordinate breaks, multi-configurations, systems analysis and tolerancing