December 2022

Thank you for your support of APOMA's 2022 Colorado Tech Workshop!

The American Precision Optics Manufacturers' Association (APOMA) held its 2022 biennial workshop on November 9-11th in Boulder, CO. The event was a full 2 1/2 days featuring a tour of NIST Labs, multiple networking events, and presentations. With over 100 attendees and 16 presenters, the workshop offered fresh insights into the most-advanced optical polishing techniques, as well as the latest material technology, and advanced research on the principles of surface finishing.

This year’s event commenced with an Open House at Front Range Community College’s (FRCC) Center for Integrated Manufacturing (CIM), guided by Dr. Amanda Meier, Optics Technology Program Director. FRCC is a growing program with key disciplines in optics, machining, automation, and electronics focused on preparing the next generation of manufacturing opticians through hands-on fabrication learning and targeted coursework that benefits the optics and photonics industry.

Participants had the opportunity to visit multiple labs at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a world leader in the physical sciences and precision measurement for more than 60 years. Labs that were toured included laser metrology, time scale/transfer & atomic clock, EUV tomography, and 3D printing with spectrographic qualifications.

Two days of presentations included optical processing and supporting knowledge for manufacturers. Everything from freeform optical fabrication to high-powered lasers to ISO standards to international trade regulations to sub-surface chemical and polish interactions was covered. Attendees heard from Dr. Tayyab Suratwala of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory whose Rules of Thumb for Optical Fabrication provided in-depth insights on processes to optimize the best results in precision polished surfaces. Jayson Nelson of Edmund Optics gave a fascinating presentation on the Beilby layer and how polishing disrupts the glass surface on a molecular level.

The selection of Boulder for this year’s APOMA conference was intended to highlight the vast optics and photonics community in Colorado as well as to continue collaboration and optical education. Part of APOMA’s commitment is to serve as a unified voice in promoting expansion and growth of the optics manufacturing base.

Concluding the workshop, APOMA President-elect Lee Steneken presented a $7,300 donation to Front Range Community College. This donation was made on behalf of APOMA and with additional support from Esco Optics, PR Hoffman, ThorLabs, IRD Glass, Colorado Thin Films and Ray Williamson Consulting.

APOMA extends its thanks to FRCC, NIST and the Boulder community for contributing to a very successful and enjoyable workshop! Pictures and additional details from the event have been posted to the APOMA website: Tech Workshop 2022

Welcome new members!

Navitar - Rochester, NY 

Advanced Thin Films / IDEX Optical Technologies - Boulder, CO


Heraeus Quartz North America LLC - Buford, GA 

Taylor Hobson, Inc. - Warrenville, IL 

ER Precision Optical Corp. - Apopka, FL 

Paramount Glassworks, LLC - Putnam, CT 

3M - Electronics Markets Solutions Division - St. Paul, MN

MCC seeking applicants for open positions on Dr. Alexis Vogt's Optical Systems Technology Team

Coordinator II, Outreach (AmeriCOM Grant)

Coordinator II, Apprenticeship (AmeriCOM Grant)

MCC Spring 2023 Intro to Optics course - Available via Zoom!

Dr. Alexis Vogt's Intro to Optics course is a great option for people without an optics background, and the class is taught over Zoom - so if you have anyone on your teams that you think would benefit from an overview of what optics is, recommend it!

MCC's Spring 2023 semester begins on Monday January 23rd, see below for additional details!