My country is small, makes high quality products, but has no really big engineering industries like large countries. In optics it has about a dozen manufacturers usually producing small optics for medical tools or optical industry, so in the size range of several millimeters to several centimeters. But not in the size range of several decimeters to several meters I am primarily interested in. The manufacturing process is probably the same, grinding, lapping, polishing, figuring etc. for all optical manufacturers. What possibilities are there if I wanted to start with large optics. Would it be easier to start with a small manufacturer and switch to the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab later on?
Posted 14 January 2020 - 01:50 PM
A couple of observations/questions:
1. What country are you in?
2. Yes - there are no shortcuts to producing optics: grind/polish/figure whether by hand or by automation is the manner in which lenses and mirrors are produced. Much of the world's optical production is dedicated to servicing the medical, defense, smartphone/digicam sectors.
3. Its not clear to me if you are you want to make an optic or purchase one...
Posted 14 January 2020 - 03:52 PM
One big shortcut:
Diamond generation of radii. A huge asset that's all by itself. (large or small)
Posted 14 January 2020 - 04:10 PM
You need to explain more. Are the mirrors for yourself, university, large company, etc...
Can you import the optics? The processing is the same, just on a lager and more costly scale.
More details would help to point you in the right direction.
Posted 14 January 2020 - 04:26 PM
The time to contact Stewart is when your optic gets into the 5 metre range.
Posted 14 January 2020 - 04:54 PM
I believe he is asking about career opportunities. I could have misunderstood.
Edited by Mike Spooner, 14 January 2020 - 04:55 PM.
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Posted 14 January 2020 - 06:25 PM
Europe, and yeah, career opportunities. A company serving small and large optics industries would be more interesting and motivating in education as I assume to be able to get in contact with telescope opticians meanwhile.
Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:53 PM
What possibilities are there if I wanted to start with large optics. Would it be easier to start with a small manufacturer and switch to the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab later on?
If you have ambitions to work at the University of Arizona's Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab (that's the new name of the Stewart Mirror Lab) you might want to consider getting into the University of Arizona James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences. You'll need a degree in optical sciences, and their program offers 138 optics courses and is attended by something like 330 students majoring in, or taking courses in, that department. Given the association between the Mirror Lab and the University of Arizona, and given the interest of their students, getting a degree there seems like your best chance.
I would also expect that experience with a small manufacturer wouldn't help a bunch if your ambition is to end up at the Mirror Lab. The work they do there is so highly specialized that experience outside their own programs would not be of much help. Also, the Caris Mirror Lab isn't exactly a large employer. Their staff is something under 50 people in total. I am not meaning to be discouraging in any way. If you want to set a goal, you should study what your competition will be, and plan what you will have to accomplish to succeed. Of course the degree in optical sciences from the University of Arizona would be a very strong start for you if you are looking at getting any job anywhere else in high-end optics, so that is a no-lose proposition.
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Posted 15 January 2020 - 02:50 PM
If you are looking for a career in optics. You can also contact some of the companies who make larger optics. It will depend on your current experience and education.
Attached are the professional societies (SPIE and OSA) web sites of companies looking for employees. You can post your resume on the web site. You can also check the web sites of the college or university you may be interested in. Some may require a higher degree, others may take experience.
Edited by Oregon-raybender, 15 January 2020 - 02:51 PM.
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