I am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in Optical Engineering through the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona. Along with my courses, I am developing a low coherence interferometer used for contact lens surface metrology while the contact lens is submerged in saline.
Recently, I was employed with the California Institute of Technology at their LIGO-Livingston Laboratory as an Operation Specialist. My responsibilities included managing and leading the design, integration, and testing of several optical subsystems to be used in the new Advanced LIGO (aLIGO) detector. In particular, I have built, aligned and commissioned optical benches to monitor optical cavity lateral and angular motion, CO2 laser benches to induce and control thermal lensing, Hartman wavefront sensor benches to monitor thermal distortion, optical levers to monitor mirror angular motion, telescopes to manipulate the interferometer’s main laser and more. Not only have I constructed these optical systems, I have had to design, fabricate, and commission test apparatuses to ensure that these systems functioned properly. Taking the initiative to oversee these subsystems has given me the opportunity to gain much experience in interfacing mechanical, electrical, optical, and software systems with one another.
Prior to LIGO, I was employed at the College of Optical Science’s Optical Fabrication Facility. At the time of my employment, the fabrication facility was grinding and polishing the primary mirror for the Discovery Channel Telescope. I assisted in building and modifying the hydraulic support system for the primary mirror and developed many accessories to improve the tools used in the fabrication shop. Along with my Optical Engineering studies, I have had several years of training using solid modeling programs such as SolidWorks and Autocad, and have had training in mechanical analysis using programs like Abaqus and ANSYS.