The Optical Science and Engineering (OSE) Program at the University of New Mexico (UNM) is jointly administered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy (PandA) and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). It offers both the M.S. degree and Ph.D. degree in Optical Science and Engineering. Currently, 30 faculty members participate and more than 60 graduate students are enrolled.

International Year of Light

The Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM) and the Optical Science and Engineering (OSE) program at the University of New Mexico (UNM), which have been contributing to the advancement of photonics for over 30 years, sponsored a conference on optics and photonics to commemorate the International Year of Light, held on UNM's main campus in Albuquerque on September 25, 2015.

The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, 2015 (IYL 2015) is a United Nations observance that aims to raise awareness of the achievements of light science and its applications, and its importance to humankind. The State of New Mexico identifies photonics as one of its four top-priority science and technology areas for economic development.

About 500 people attended this greatly successful event. At the conference, a 12-member panel of academics, national laboratory scientists, private investors and state and local officials discussed the opportunities to strengthen public-private collaboration in the development and commercialization of new technologies.

"The state is now recognized as an optics and photonics leader," said Deirdre Firth, City of Albuquerque deputy director for economic development. That includes breakthroughs in everything from superfast laser communications and defense systems to light-based medical diagnostics and treatment.

Sanjay Krishna, Director of CHTM, said New Mexico should create a public-private center for applied photonics. “New Mexico remains a center of excellence in photonics, and UNM has a long history of accomplishments in this area,” said Earl Fuller, CHTM's Strategic Support Manager. “We want to continue building collaboration and partnerships with the national laboratories, universities and industry to create a Southwest regional hub.”

CHTM faculty visit Universidad de Concepción (UdeC) to build on successful relationship

Universidad de Concepción (UdeC) symbol

Majeed Hayat, associate director of the UNM Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM), co-chair of the Optical Science and Engineering Program (OSE), and professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), travels to Chile this week together with Arash Mafi, CHTM member, associate professor with the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and leader of the Photonics Research Group.

They will meet with UdeC faculty to work on plans to enhance joint efforts in research collaboration, faculty exchange and student recruitment. Discussions will promote research collaborations through faculty exchanges.

UNM faculty have found in UdeC and its excellent faculty a rich and attractive environment for research collaborations, and the association is reciprocal. UNM faculty members have made several working visits to UdeC. Some UdeC faculty members conducted training and research at UNM. UdeC faculty includes two UNM graduates who now send their graduate students to UNM for research.

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) at UNM has a dual-degree agreement with UdeC that began in 2006. Students may earn degrees recognized and accredited by both institutions. Discussions during the visit will also aim to define concrete opportunities for UdeC and UNM students to participate in research at the two institutions.

As an institution, UNM is supportive of outreach efforts to UdeC.