Engineer shortage a 'concern' for optics industry

Greg Blackman and Jessica Rowbury writing in Electro Optics magazine found that firms at SPIE Photonics West are crying out for optical scientists.


The shortage of optical engineers in Europe and the USA is a growing ‘concern’ for the industry, according to executives speaking during a panel discussion at SPIE Photonics West on 17 February.

Gloria Hoefler, director, optical integrated components group at Infinera, commented during the discussion that there is ‘definitely a need for more engineers’ and that it will be ‘quite challenging’ to meet that demand. She added: ‘As a country [USA], we need to do better to encourage students to remain in optical engineering.’

She was not alone in her views, with the rest of the panel – Christof Lehner, Trumpf’s general manager for North America; Dirk Rothweiler, VP of Jenoptik’s Optical Systems division; Sam Sadoulet, CEO of Edmund Optics; and Alex Schoenfelder, VP of Commercial Lasers at Lumentum – agreeing that more needs to be done to train and retain optical engineers.

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