Photonics: enabling technology
Photonics is experiencing a big growth as a key enabling technology. Because of this development there is a growing need for people with a solid knowledge in the field of optics and photonics applications. The research in the field of nanotechnology has a strong photonics component. One of the few bachelor courses that focus on the fundamentals of optics is the bachelor course in Applied Physics. In the Netherlands there are three Universities of Applied Sciences that offer this bachelor course: Saxion, Fontys and the Hague University. These three Universities of Applied Sciences collaborate in the project Innovation photonics education.
The purpose of this project is to innovate the optics and photonics education in such a way that students become enthusiastic about the discipline.
The Saxion Nanotechnology chair also wants to increase the intake of students in Applied Physics students in the study programme Nanotechnology. This is how the three Universities of Applied Sciences want to fulfill the need of a growing number of professionals in the industry.
Smartphone as an optical instrument
For the innovation in photonics education the cooperating Universities of Applied Sciences will use four different approaches:
- Saxion is mainly engaged in developing project learning, in which the own smartphone will be converted into an optical measuring device.
- The Hague University will develop a double beam interferometer.
- Fontys will develop an up-to-date practical in enabling photonics applications, such as about the transport of information by glass fibers.
If possible these research set ups will be built in such a way that they can rotate between the three participating Universities of Applied Sciences. In this way the number of students coming into touch with the research set ups will increase significantly. For your information: each year the three bachelor courses in Applied Physics have a total intake of less than 250 students.
The project Innovation Photonics Education starts in October 2012 and has a duration of 1 year.