Archive for the ‘Recognition’ category

Rochester’s Alexis Vogt, Honored Among 2016 “40 under 40”

September 9, 2016

On the heels of 2015’s International Year of Light, Rochester, New York is achieving greater recognition for its preeminence in optics, photonics and imaging. Rochester’s 2015 designation as headquarters for AIM Photonics will bring with it a new Test, Assembly & Packaging plant to begin construction in 2017, with new jobs, new technologies and new skill set demands.

It seems fitting that 2016 is the year that the community has chosen to recognize one of Rochester’s “optics shining stars,” Alexis Vogt as one of our “40 under 40.”vogt-pic

Vogt, currently Endowed Chair & Associate Professor of Optics at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY, teaches in the only Optical Systems Technology program in the nation.  The program is at maximum enrollment for Fall, 2016.

A PhD from the University of Rochester Institute of Optics with a specialized emphasis on polarization engineering, coherence theory and microscopy, Vogt has already achieved career objectives that many people only dream about.

While engaged in her UR studies Vogt had already achieved distinction:

  • Dean’s List 10 of 10 semesters and Tau Beta Pi National Honorary Engineering Society
  • Recipient of 2000 Institute of Optics Faculty Award
  • Recipient of 2001 Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • University of Rochester Trustees’ Alumni Council of the College member 2001 – 2004

She interned at Corning, Inc. in metrology for optical fiber, where she designed and developed certification devices to increase accuracy and reliability of fiber draws.

In her spare time, she defined “light” and “polarization” for the World Book Encyclopedia, got married and had two children.

At Bausch & Lomb she was manager of medical affairs in the advanced optical design and metrology department where she was awarded the 2012 CEO Award Recipient for “directly showcasing Bausch + Lomb optical designs to eye care professionals in a compelling and engaging way…” and the 2011 Focus on Excellence award.

As an optical physicist, Vogt was applications engineer, business development manager and senior product manager at Melles Griot in Rochester, where she was awarded the 2015 IDEX KEEP Award for high performance and was offered financial incentives to remain at IDEX.

She instead chose an endowed professorship at MCC in optical systems technology.

“Each day I reflect on how fortunate and blessed I am to have such a wonderful family, and a job that I love in a community I love.” Says Vogt. ” The birthplace of optics in America is Rochester, NY, and to be educating students at Monroe Community College and helping them prepare for a career in optics, photonics and imaging is incredibly rewarding.  The only limit to what they can do is their own ambition.  We have CEOs in Rochester with a 2-year degree from our program.”

“As we move forward and grow our optics program to meet the increasing regional and national optics workforce demands, I want more families to encourage their children to pursue interests in science and physics, especially their daughters.” 

Alexis’ last name, Vogt, has her at the bottom of the list alphabetically, but we think that she belongs at the top!  

We are delighted that she will be a speaker at the New York Photonics Annual meeting in Rochester on October 27th.

>>Awardees Here<<

CNSE Achieves Business-funded Research Distinction

February 10, 2015

The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany was No.1 in the country for research expenditures funded by business in fiscal year 2013.
That’s according to a report out last week from the National Science Foundation.

The nanocollege received $201.6 million in research and development expenditures from business, a piece of the college’s $374.2 million in total research expenditures for 2013. About 53.9 percent of the research expenditures at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering were funded by businesses, compared with the national average of 5.2 percent.

[Nanocollege: is that a really small college?]

Read more…

JML Optical CFO DiSalvo is selected as finalist for Financial Executive of the Year

June 9, 2014

Len DiSalvo’s contributions to JML Optical Industries as the company’s CFO,  and to the Rochester community as a whole,  have placed him as a finalist for the Financial Executive of the Year award, sponsored by the Rochester Business Journal and Financial Executives International.

JML Optical CFO DiSalvo named Financial Executive of the Year finalist

JML Optical Industries CFO Len DiSalvo is Financial Executive of the Year finalist

In addition to finance and accounting, DiSalvo is responsible for human resources and information technology functions at JML Optical, which is a leading designer and manufacturer of custom precision optical components, assemblies and systems for use in the defense, medical diagnostic, life sciences, semiconductor, metrology and biometrics industries.

Prior to joining JML, DiSalvo  held the positions of CFO and Vice President for Finance for Harbinger Group Inc., formerly Zapata Corp., managing acquisition and divestiture activities and serving on the board of directors of the company’s publicly traded majority-owned subsidiaries. There, he directed the creation and eventual spin-off of an internet subsidiary. DiSalvo has also held financial positions at Constellation Brands and Bausch + Lomb, Inc.

“Len has been at the heart of JML’s successful transition from a sole proprietorship to a growth company with private equity and broader management ownership,” said JML CEO and President Bob Bicksler.  “Also under Len’s leadership and direct involvement, our customers will soon benefit from a new, state-of-the-art ERP system that is now being implemented.”

DiSalvo contributes to the wider Rochester community by serving as a board member of the Rochester Technology & Manufacturing Council, and as a member of the Nazareth College financial advisory council.



Letter: Slaughter has led on photonics

March 4, 2014

Letter: Slaughter has led on photonics

In reference to the Feb. 2 essay by Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (“To fight poverty locally, invest in well-paying jobs”), I applaud the congresswoman’s efforts on behalf of optics and photonics. This is an industry that is highly technical and often not understood by many outside of Rochester, but the everyday technologies enabled by optics and photonics are well known — smartphones, laser surgery and high-speed Internet, for example.

Rep. Slaughter works tirelessly to educate her colleagues and advance optics and photonics in Congress. I thank her for her efforts on a local and national scale. Rochester is well served by the leadership of Congresswoman Slaughter.

President, The Optical Society (OSA)

Vice President Biden Recognizes RRPC / MCC Progress in Optics Program

January 30, 2014

Five years ago the Monroe Community College (MCC) Optical Systems Technology Program graduated two people and had a total of six enrollments.
Today, the program has new labs, new laboratory equipment, dual-credit relationships with three area high schools and an annual optical systems immersion program for high schoolers with the Optics Summer Sizzler.  There are 50 enrollments.  Corning and Sydor Optics donated $750 thousand to the program and there is a reinvigorated advisory board.

Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden called out to the optics industry from the podium during his speech at Monroe Community College.

That is an example of the RRPC at work.  Stay focused on Optics and Photonics!  This industry is the strategic industry of our region and needs continued commitment from all its members if it is to continue to grow and flourish!

Listen to Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks about Rochester’s Optics Industry here on Soundcloud.

Lumetrics Garners Digital Rochester GREAT Award

September 12, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, Rochester, NY

Before a packed house at the Digital Rochester GREAT Awards held in the Plaza Hotel on State Street, RRPC Member Lumetrics took home the Digital Rochester Optics, Photonics and Imaging Technology Award for developing their all-fiber based interferometer, the OptiGauge™.

Presenting the award was Julian Goldstein, CEO of Navitar and the award sponsor.

Finalists for the award were:

The award recognizes an individual and/or organization that demonstrates achievement in emerging technologies in the field of Optics, Photonics and Imaging.  The judging categories are Innovation/Originality, Practical Application, Achieved Successes.

LumetricsLumetrics CEO, John Hart, in accepting the award said, “More than optics, photonics and imaging in common, we all have roots in Eastman Kodak. In a very direct way, all three of the nominees here have Optics, Photonics and Imaging in common but we also have Kodak to thank: Of course Carestream was a former Kodak operating group. Lumetrics was able to license patents from Kodak 10 years ago that helped us launch our first product. Mike Pavia worked at Kodak prior to starting Sydor Instruments. And interestingly, Jim Sydor’s Dad, Stefan, immigrated to Rochester and worked for Kodak for 15 years before founding Stefan Sydor Optics in 1964.

So thank you to Digital Rochester for initiating this new award, also a shout out to Navitar for their sponsorship, and congratulations to Carestream Health and Sydor Optics for their tremendous contribution to our Optics community.”


Digital Rochester GREAT Optics, Photonics and Imaging Technology Award


RRPC 2013 Annual Awards Announced

September 11, 2013

The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster announced the recipients of three annual awards and a special lifetime achievement award at its annual meeting on Thursday, September 5th at the Rochester Museum & Science Center.



The RRPC Entrepreneurship Award was awarded to Michael Bechtold, CEO, Optipro, 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.  Bechtold began a machine-tool business in Ontario, Wayne County in in 1982.  He began working with the UR Center for Optics Manufacturing in 1990, designing and manufacturing specialized deterministic optics manufacturing machine tools and metrology equipment as the company grew.  Optipro now employs 65 people.  The company added 20,000 square feet to their building in 2011 and is embarking on another 10,000 sq. ft. expansion.



The RRPC Leadership Award was awarded to Paul Ballentine, Associate Director, Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences, University of Rochester for working with RRPC members and the community to promote the Rochester Region’s Optics, Photonics and Imaging Industry.  Ballentine moved back to Rochester from Austin, Texas in 2011 to take a leadership position at CEIS.  His efforts for the OPI community included leading the team that won the Rochester Regional Optics and Photonics Jobs Accelerator grant award in 2012, convening the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, High Technology of Rochester, Monroe Community College and RRPC in a multi-pronged effort to increase jobs in the region’s Optics and Photonics small and medium-size enterprises.


Van Kouwenberg and Battley

The RRPC Education Award was awarded to James Van Kouwenberg, Training Coordinator and Master Optician at Optimax Systems, for inspiring students to embrace Optics, Photonics, and Imaging sciences and guiding them in career development.  Van Kouwenberg, a graduate of the MCC Optical Systems Technology program has taken on numerous community optics and photonics education programs in addition to his in-house training responsibilities at Optimax Systems.  These include work with regional grammar schools, middle schools and high schools; work with the RRPC Optics Summer Sizzler held annually at Monroe Community College; and work with East High School’s Optics Manufacturing program.


Slaughter and Battley

The RRPC Optics & Photonics Award was awarded to Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Representative 25th District, NY for her long-standing support of Rochester’s Optics, Photonics and Imaging industry.  Slaughter recently secured $2 million in funding for a project including Exelis Rochester, University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) and QED Technologies.

Since 2004 Slaughter has been able to secure over $682 million in funding for the LLE, located on the University of Rochester campus.  Established in 1970 as a center for the investigation of the interaction of intense radiation with matter, LLE has a five-fold mission: (1) to conduct laser-fusion implosion experiments in support of the National Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) program; (2) to develop new laser and materials technologies; (3) to provide education in electro-optics, high-power lasers, high-energy-density physics, plasma physics, and nuclear fusion technology; (4) to conduct research and development in advanced technology related to high-energy-density physics; and (5) to operate the National Laser Users’ Facility (NLUF).

For more information contact Thomas Battley, RRPC Executive Director