WPI professor Cosme Furlong-Vazquez (right) and post-doctoral fellow Payam Razavi in the Microelectronics Testing and Characterization lab.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute to Host Integrated Photonics Symposium

Integrated photonics research has implications for smartphones, medical devices, and autonomous vehicles
September 26, 2018

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) will hold the inaugural Integrated Photonics Symposium on Wednesday, Oct. 3. Aimed at advancing integrated photonics activities throughout the region, the event will feature attendees and speakers from academia, industry, and government.

Photonics is an area of technology that involves transmitting and processing information with light, or photons, instead of with electricity, or electrons, while integrated photonics involves bringing electronic and photonic components together on the same chip. While photonics is already embedded in technologies that are part of daily life—including smartphones, medical devices, and autonomous vehicles—researchers say integrated photonics devices represent an emerging and potentially game-changing technology.

In January, WPI and QCC shared a $4 million grant from Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2) to support the region’s burgeoning integrated photonics initiatives. The two schools are in the process of developing a comprehensive joint laboratory known as the AIM Photonics Academy Lab for Education & Application Prototypes (LEAP), which will support the growth of the nascent integrated photonics industry across the Northeast.

The Central Massachusetts LEAP will help strengthen companies in the region by enabling their transition into the integrated photonics supply chain, expanding opportunities for research and development, creating additional workforce development and educational programs, and enabling new entrepreneurial activities.


Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Rubin Campus Center, Odeum


100 Institute Road Worcester, MA 01609


9 a.m. - Welcome remarks

Winston Soboyejo, senior vice president and provost, ad interim

Luis Pedraja, president, Quinsigamond Community College

9:15 a.m. – Academic and Corporate Engagement

Rachel I. LeBlanc, assistant vice president, Academic and Corporate Engagement, WPI

9:30 a.m. - Introduction - The WPI/QCC Vision​

Bogdan Vernescu, vice provost for research, WPI

Kathy Rentsch, assistant vice president for Workforce Readiness and Innovation, QCC

9:50 a.m. – AIM Photonics Overview

Michael Liehr, CEO, AIM Photonics

10:35 a.m. – Future of Integrated Photonics

Michael Watts, president and CEO, Analog Photonics

Sajan Saini, education director, AIM Photonics Academy

  • Other activities include a government panel, a student panel, an industry panel, a LEAP facility overview, and breakout learning sessions focused on education and workforce development; testing, assembling, and packaging; and technology/application development
  • To learn more and see full details, visit this link.

NOTE:  Reporters interested in attending the WPI-QCC Integrated Photonics Symposium  should contact Andy Baron at ajbaron@wpi.edu or 508-831-5916.

This event is being organized in coordination with The Future of Manufacturing Symposium, hosted by MassMEP, on Thursday, Oct. 4. To learn about this event, visit www.massmep.org/event/the-future-of-manufacturing-symposium.