The MSOE Photonics and Applied Optics Center was established in 1995 with funds provided by the National Science Foundation. Two NSF grants made possible the purchase of optical equipment and apparatus for the Undergraduate Applied Optics Laboratory and the Photonics and Sensors Laboratory. State-of-the-art apparatus in those laboratories includes:

  • Six 4-by-8 foot optical tables
  • Newport Projects in Optics kits
  • Newport Projects in Fiber Optics kits
  • Computer controllable visible-infrared grating monochromators
  • Newport optical power meters with silicon and germanium photodiode detectors
  • He-Ne lasers and diode lasers
  • An optical time-domain reflectometer
  • A traveling microscope capable of measuring distances to the nearest thousandth of a millimeter

Both of the Center laboratories are in an extremely low-vibration ground-level site at which the most sensitive optical tests, projects and experiments can be performed.

Laboratory modules for use by engineering students in optics courses were developed by the NSF-funded curriculum development project: Optics and Photonics for the 21st Century – An Innovative Interdisciplinary Modular Laboratory Curriculum. Consulting services have been performed at the Center to solve optical problems for some of America’s and Wisconsin’s largest corporations, and for smaller companies in the Milwaukee metropolitan area.