Solar Startup to Build Big Factory in Upstate New York

Posted October 7, 2015 by rrpc
Categories: New York Photonics, New York State Optics, NYPhotonics, Photonics, Photovoltaics

It’s photonics. Get it?

Following SolarCity’s plan to build a factory in Buffalo, New York, another solar company has been attracted to the area with incentives.

Upstate New York is quickly becoming a new hub for solar manufacturing.

On Wednesday afternoon solar startup 1366 Technologies, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, announced that 1366 will build a factory in Genesee County, which is located between Buffalo and Rochester, in upstate New York. The 100,000 square-foot factory could provide 1,000 jobs to the region.

The factory, which is supposed to break ground in the second quarter of 2016, will eventually churn out 600 million silicon solar wafers per year. A silicon wafer is the raw ingredient of a traditional solar cell, and a few dozen solar cells make up one solar panel.

>>Read More Here<<

Company Website:

>>Fast Company Most Innovative Energy Companies<<

Churchill Downs: RIT Big Shot #31

Posted October 5, 2015 by rrpc
Categories: International Year of Light

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Cameras: Four Nikon D810 cameras
Lenses:  28/f1.8 mm
Exposure time: 30 seconds @ f/11 ISO 100

All external lighting was provided by nearly 1,800  volunteer participants using hand-held electronic flash units and flashlights. Additionally Profoto 7B and B1 electronic flash equipment was used.

The RIT Big Shot is a nighttime community photographic project that began in 1987.

The result shared above is a composite made from the files from four cameras equipped with 28mm lenses. We were excited to again try this approach to our long-standing project. A single shot capture would have required a very wide-angle lens and the magnification differences of the foreground to the  background would have been amplified in the final image from that type of a lens. Using four cameras enabled the magnification of the photograph  to be more proportional to how the scene would appear to the eye. This photograph was complex to make because of all variables, including weather, scale, size and history.

Located on the grass track were re-enactors dressed to portray jockeys and a photographer from approximately the 1900’s. Additionally located to the left of the frame is the Kentucky Derby bugler.

>>More Here<<


Photonics: What? Why? How? Rochester is freaking out for photonics. But what is it?

Posted October 1, 2015 by rrpc
Categories: AIM Photonics, National Photonics Initiative, New York Photonics, New York State Optics, NYPhotonics

Tags: ,

Rochester is undeniably excited about photonics, even if much of the community doesn’t know what it is.

But there’s good reason for the buzz, since Rochester will be the heart of a national initiative to build an integrated photonics industry from the ground up. The Department of Defense is keen on integrated photonics, which basically weds ultra-high-tech optical systems with high-tech electronics. It’s putting approximately $115 million into the initiative, known as the American Institute for Manufacturing Photonics.

The DOD solicited proposals from across the country, and a contingent led by SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, University of Rochester, and Rochester Institute of Technology submitted the winning application. The pitch included an additional $250-million investment from New York State; a $250-million investment from the photonics industry, research universities, and other states; and a headquarters in Rochester — a region with a long, pioneering history in photonics’ twin field of optics.

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Photonics Boosts Rochester’s Future

Posted October 1, 2015 by rrpc
Categories: AIM Photonics, Integrated Photonics, New York Photonics, NYPhotonics, Photonics

Two local photonics experts used the Downstairs Cabaret Theatre Wednesday night to set the stage for how the field will improve Rochester’s job economy.

Jay Eastman

Jay Eastman

Jay Eastman and Paul Ballentine looked in their crystal balls and told about 150 entrepreneurs that a $600 million photonics research institute coming to town will boost local higher education, jobs and the city’s clout globally as the epicenter for everything optics.

Ballentine is the executive director of the University of Rochester’s Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences. His center matches university experts in optics, photonics and imaging with businesses looking to create a new product or improve an existing product.

Paul Ballentine

Paul Ballentine

Ballentine said the institute will help colleges in many ways. The Rochester Institute of Technology will likely collaborate with AIM researchers, he said. Ballentine added that RIT’s semi-conductor, microelectronics and imaging sciences programs will probably see an increase in applications.

Ballentine mentioned the optics programs at Monroe Community College and how historically the enrollment has been low. However, he said her heard from the optics program director Alexis Vogt that interest has soared since the AIM announcement.

>>Read More Here<<

2015 New York Photonics Awards Presented at Annual Meeting

Posted September 25, 2015 by rrpc
Categories: Awards, New York Photonics, New York State Optics, NYPhotonics, Optics, Photonics, RRPC Member News

Tags: , , ,


ROCHESTER, NY, September 17th. 2015 – The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster/New York Photonics (RRPC) today honored three leaders in education and business for their contributions to New York’s Optics and Photonics Industry.

RRPC Executive Director Tom Battley joined past years’ award winners to present the awards in front of more than 300 representatives from industry, government and education from across the region at the New York Photonics 2015 Annual Meeting held in the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

BickslerThe RRPC Entrepreneur Award
is given each year to an individual for demonstrating creativity, innovative spirit and drive in pursuit of the dream of creating an industry-leading company in the Optics, Photonics and Imaging Industry. The Entrepreneur Award recipient for 2015 is Bob Bicksler, CEO of JML Optical Industries in East Rochester, NY.

Bicksler has served as the President and CEO of JML Optical Industries since the 2011 change of ownership. He is responsible for developing the company’s strategy and has led numerous initiatives to position JML as a leader in the optics industry. Prior to acquiring JML with several partners, Bob served as the President and CEO of a leading provider of software products and services for the mobile device market. Bob has over 30 years of operational and financial background in manufacturing, technology, and telecommunications companies. His track record is one of continued success in growing companies and delivering superior products to a wide range of customers.

Bob is a Lecturer (part-time) of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School. He is also an active instructor at North Carolina School of Science and Math (NCSSM), part of the UNC system. NCSSM is the world’s first public, residential high school for juniors and seniors that provides a specialized curriculum in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. Bob holds degrees from The Pennsylvania State University (BS, Business Administration) and The University of North Texas (MS).


DuncanMoorePhotoThe RRPC Leadership Award is given each year to an individual for working with RRPC members and the community to promote the Rochester Region’s Optics, Photonics and Imaging Industry. The Leadership Award recipient for 2015 is Dr. Duncan Moore.

Moore is the Rudolf and Hilda Kingslake Professor of Optical Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Professor of Business Administration at the University of Rochester. In 2007, he was also appointed Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship at the University. In this role, he manages the Kauffman Campus Initiative ($10.6M over 5 years). From 1995 to 1997, Dr. Moore was Dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University, and in 1996 he also served as President of the Optical Society of America. The U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Moore in the fall of 1997 as Associate Director for Technology in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). In this position, which ended December 2000, he worked with Dr. Neal Lane, President Clinton’s Science Advisor, to advise the President on U.S. technology policy.

Moore has extensive experience in the academic, research, business, and governmental arenas of science and technology. He is an expert in gradient index optics, solar cell design, computer-aided design, and the manufacture of optical systems. In 1993, Dr. Moore began a one-year appointment as Science Advisor to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia. He also chaired the successful Hubble Independent Optical Review Panel organized in 1990 to determine the correct prescription of the Hubble Space Telescope. He currently chairs the Product-Integrity-Team for the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. He is also the founder and former president of Gradient Lens Corporation of Rochester, NY, a company that manufactures the Hawkeye boroscope. He holds Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in optics from the University of Rochester, and a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Maine. Dr. Moore was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in February 1998, and in 2006 Moore received the Gold Medal of The International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE). Dr. Moore was the recipient of the 2009 Edwin H. Land Medal presented by the Society for Imaging Science and Technology and the Optical Society of America.

Conrow2The RRPC Education Award is given each year to an individual for inspiring students to embrace Optics, Photonics, and Imaging sciences and guiding them in career development. The Education Award recipient for 2015 is East High School Science Teacher Paul Conrow.

Conrow initiated and developed the East High School Optics Manufacturing Lab (Rochester, NY) that includes a complete shop for manufacturing precision optics.  He was the initiator, with New York Photonics Executive Director and a team of volunteers, of the Optics Summer Sizzler, a summer immersion program for teaching students and teachers about optics and photonics.

Conrow helped run a summer physics research program for area high school students, under the direction of Professor Kevin McFarland at the University of Rochester. This paid experience for students required them to refurbish, test, and experiment with several 3’ x 10’ solid scintillating panels.  He has worked with students to perform cosmic ray experiments with scintillating panels on the university campus. The final destination for the panels is FermiLab in Batavia, Illinois as part of a multi-year neutrino experiment that began in 2009.

Light-based Memory Chip Stores To Permanent, Non-Volatile Memory

Posted September 24, 2015 by rrpc
Categories: AIM Photonics, Integrated Photonics, Nanotech, National Photonics Initiative, Photonics, silicon photonics

memory-chipThe world’s first entirely light-based memory chip to store data permanently has been developed by material scientists at Oxford University in collaboration with scientists at Karlsruhe, Munster and Exeter. The device, which makes use of materials used in CDs and DVDs, could help dramatically improve the speed of modern computing.

Today’s computers are held back by the relatively slow transmission of electronic data between the processor and the memory. ‘There’s no point using faster processors if the limiting factor is the shuttling of information to-and-from the memory — the so-called von-Neumann bottleneck,’ explains Professor Harish Bhaskaran, who led the research. ‘But we think using light can significantly speed this up.’

>>Read More<<



SUNY Poly trying to acquire NYSERDA facility for $1

Posted September 24, 2015 by rrpc
Categories: New York Photonics, NYPhotonics

A real estate arm of SUNY Polytechnic Institute is trying to acquire a 280-acre property in Saratoga County from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

But amid reports of subpoenas for the school and greater scrutiny of state contracts, the authority took no action on the issue when its officials met this week.

The property transfer price is listed as $1 in a draft contract between NYSERDA and Fuller Road Management Corp., a nonprofit that leases and develops property for SUNY Poly, according to a copy obtained by POLITICO New York. The Saratoga Technology + Energy Park, near the GlobalFoundries chip fab, is approved for 1 million square feet of office, manufacturing and research and development space.


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