Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), in collaboration with Quinsigamond Community College (QCC), will develop a Lab for Education & Application Prototypes (LEAP) at WPI. Part of the national American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), the LEAP at WPI will support the integrated photonics manufacturing sector in central Massachusetts. This partnership will:

  • Advance integrated photonics research
  • Support the growth of the integrated photonics industry along the I-90 Corridor
  • Accelerate innovation from the lab to the marketplace
  • Educate and train the next generation of industry leaders

QCC is a lead facilitator in the growing field of integrated photonics. Get more information about QCC's role in this endeavor

State of Massachusetts Supports LEAP at WPI

With $4 million from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, WPI and QCC will develop an integrated photonics facility to help advance the integrated photonics manufacturing sector in Central Massachusetts. Part of Manufacturing USA AIM Photonics Institute, located at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, N.Y., the new facility will foster partnerships with with other academic, industrial, and government organizations. Read the announcement from the state

Integrated Photonics: The Next Frontier

  • Photonics involves the transmission and processing of information using light (photons) instead of electricity (electrons). Photonic devices are often faster, use less power, and can be made at smaller scales than electronic ones. This creates opportunities to develop new and better sensors, imaging technologies, medical diagnostics, and more.
  • While photonics is already applied widely in communications, computing, healthcare, and other industries, the field has the potential to usher in a new era in the Information Age. WPI and QCC look forward to the helping make next big breakthrough.

Accelerating Innovation on the Corridor

  • The I-90 corridor, which connects Albany to Boston, is becoming a conduit that ties together elements of a vibrant integrated photonics education, research, and development ecosystem. In Worcester, representing the Central Massachusetts section of the corridor, WPI and QCC will create an AIM Photonics Academy Lab for Education & Application Prototypes (LEAP).
  • The facility will enable to WPI and QCC to create a regional focal point for building partnerships with business, colleges and universities, and government entities to support research, development, education, and workforce development.

Bringing Innovations to Life

  • The Central Massachusetts LEAP will be equipped with state-of-the art tools for the realization, design, characterization testing, and reliability testing of photonic integrated circuits (PICs) and devices. The toolsets will complement those at the AIM Photonics Academy Lab for Education and Application Prototyping (LEAP).
  • Researchers in multiple disciplines at WPI and QCC, in collaboration with several strategic partners, will use these facilities to design and test prototypes of PICs and systems that emerge from interdisciplinary research in such areas as health and biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, and robotics and cyberphysical systems. 

Building a Skilled Workforce

  • WPI and QCC will collaborate on the development of programs, curricula, and training materials in partnership with industry, educators, and other education and practice sites in order to prepare a technologically competent workforce ready to help their employers succeed in the advanced manufacturing sector.
  • Educational programs will engage students at all levels—from K-12 outreach activities, to community college training programs, to graduate education—with an emphasis on giving tomorrow’s innovators and leaders access to the most advanced equipment and exposing them to ideas and challenges at the cutting edge of the integrated photonics field.

Manufacturing USA

The LEAP at WPI will be part of WPI’s overall educational and research initiative in advanced manufacturing. WPI is proud to be a member of eight Manufacturing USA institutes, including AIM Photonics. With a 150-year heritage of blending theory and practice to solve practical challenges and prepare students to tackle the world's most pressing problems, WPI is poised to make an impact in the world of 21st century manufacturing. Read more…

Our researchers plan to work closely with regional academic and industry partners to bolster the photonics industry in the Northeast corridor while providing critical workforce training in an array of photonics-related activities.
Laurie Leshin
President, WPI

Daily Herd Q&A

Douglas Petkie, head of WPI's Department of Physics, describes the promise of integrated photonics and how the partnership between WPI and QCC will strengthen the industry in Central Massachusetts.

For media inquiries, contact Andy Baron at ajbaron@wpi.edu. To learn more about the initiative and how you can bring your organization into the fold, connect with Doug Petkie at dtpetkie@wpi.edu.