George McDonald, a junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in photonic science and engineering, was featured in the latest issue of LIA Today published by the Laser Institute of America. The article below was reprinted with permission. The original article can be found on page 15 at this link.
When were you first introduced to photonics/electro-optics?
The first time I was introduced to photonics was when I was taking the Introduction to Engineering Profession course. One of the guest speakers was a professional in the field of photonics. Initially, I was planning on majoring in Mechanical Engineering. The presentation didn’t entirely convince me to switch majors at the time, but it definitely made a lasting impression on me!
What or who inspired you to choose your line of study?
Early in my college career I was taking a filmmaking course. We captured images on actual 16mm film using old home video cameras. I was inspired by how the cameras and projectors worked and became interested in optics. As I started getting further along my college career and I started taking physics classes, I found photonic science and engineering was the major for me.
Describe your favorite course you have taken so far.
Optoelectronics has been my favorite so far. The professor, Dr. Likamwa, was enthusiastic about the material and this made learning about laser diodes, photodetectors, optical communications, etc., more enjoyable.
Are you researching anything at the moment? Can you tell us about it?
I’m an intern at Ocean Insight where I support the development of next generation spectrometers. So far it has been a great learning experience!
What would you like to do in the future with your studies?
I recognize optics/photonics is a field that is evolving, and its applications can be seen in many industries. I feel that my education will also need to evolve as I begin my career. I would like to continue my education with graduate school.