What do a camera, an LED, a screen, a lens, a laser have in common? An optical system. Someone who has a degree in optical engineering makes the world of optics spin by applying the concepts of optics to research, design and develop applications.
This field of study is a mixture of physics and engineering that studies the way light is produced, transmitted, detected and measured. Who can you admire in this field? Jean-Angelo Beraldin is an award-winning optical engineer who stands out.
Along with his colleagues, he created laser scanners that help large companies like NASA teams inspect space shuttles. He also focuses on cultural artifacts where his scanners can take pictures of every detail of an old painting. Once, Beraldin spent two nights analyzing Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting “Mona Lisa” using his lasers. In addition to the space and masterpieces of the Renaissance, he also checks tombs, caves, paintings, sculptures and so on.
If you want to follow his path, a master’s degree in optical engineering is a good start. Here’s what you should know before you sign up:
A master’s degree in optical engineering prepares you specifically for a job in this industry and to enroll in this program, a bachelor of science or engineering is required. This grueling course will normally have to complete 36 credit hours of course work and 12 credit hours of thesis work.
What you will learn
The purpose of this program is to prepare you to advance in the field of physics or optical engineering. You will learn about biomedical signal processing, optoelectronics and biomedical images and much more. Along with formulating, analyzing and solving complex engineering problems, you will also develop the ability to conduct experiments.
At the University of Arizona, students come to work with teachers on meaningful projects such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, Giant Magellan Telescope and OSIRIS-REx, an unmanned probe set to launch in 2016 and land and sample an asteroid before returning to Earth. At UCD Dublin, students can participate in professional work experience for six to eight months of your two-year program.
Where to go next
As a graduate with knowledge to design and test devices that use optics (cameras, lasers, microscopes and refractometers), you can apply your skills to a large section of different sectors. This includes agriculture, aerospace, computers, entertainment, lighting, medicine and oil and textiles, to name a few. The average salary for an optical engineer is $ 91,049 for 2020 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.