The latest and most exciting addition to engineering specialities is photonics engineering. It is concerned with the use of light in energy generation, information detection and transmission. The field mainly deals with developing new products and technologies for use in a range of fields including medicine, manufacturing, telecommunications, and construction. One of the most popular procedures in healthcare industry—the ultra-accurate laser for delicate eye surgeries—is a product of photonics engineering.

Photonics engineers are have been credited with developing optical, electro-optical imaging systems, fiber optics and lasers for systems and devices that are light-dependent. Photonics engineers create and elevate the standards of current systems and products, following which they check the efficiency of their innovation. They create prototypes in order to determine if their ideas are plausible or not. Manufacturing of daily use products and assessing their usefulness usually precedes other processes.

The use of photonics is now common in telecommunications systems as fiber optic cables are now a viable replacement to conventional metal wiring. Photonics engineers must constantly keep abreast with research developments and attend conferences to learn more about their field.

Interesting advancements in the field of photonics engineering include:

  • VCSEL: Vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers offers a cost-effective integrated solution for 3D image acquisition and depth sensing.
  • Additive Manufacturing: Synonymousto 3D printing, recent developments in Photonics allow the deposition of a range of materials at a high speed with great accuracy. Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) and Selective Laser Melting (SLM) are the two widely used applications of photonics in additive manufacturing.
  • Ultrafast Lasers: Ultrafast Lasers have an unparalleled high-range intensity owing to their low divergence angles and shortest energy loss.
  • Optical Wireless Communication: There are three main aspects of Optical Wireless Communication namely Visible Light Communication (VLC), Infrared Light Communication (ILC) and Ultraviolet Light Communication (UVC) which are generating increased interest in the field of photonic engineering.
  • Fiber Optics: With developments in photonics and a concomitant improvement in technology in the field of material sciences, modern innovations in the fiber optics sector are being used across industries ranging from healthcare to automotive and telecommunications.

Photonics engineering courses in India

Photonics engineering is taught at bachelor’s level in select Indian universities, one such is the Rai Technology University. Masters level and job-oriented courses are available in Corrosion Control Engineering.

Aspiring photonics engineers should have an aptitude in the fields of physics and mathematics and understand all principles with the physics of light. They must be meticulous and pay great attention to detail when it comes to elements of their work. A problem-solving mentality is required to come up with innovative solutions and discoveries.

Jobs and careers in photonics engineering

  • Photonics Engineer: Photonics engineers are responsible for the development of optical, electro-optical imaging systems, fiber optics and lasers as well as other systems and devices that are light dependent.
  • Optical/Opto-electronics Engineer: Optical engineers apply their knowledge regarding how light is produced, transmitted, detected and calibrated to figure out applications and methodologies to construct devices using optical technology.
  • Fiber Optics System Engineer: Those professionals responsible for the installation and identification of potential problems that fiber optic systems may cause and their resolution are called fiber optics systems engineers.