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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Photonics education in Switzerland on Bachelor and Master level triggered by industrial needs
Author(s): Markus Michler

Paper Abstract

Over the past five years, Switzerland has undergone major changes in the field of photonics. Thanks to a well-positioned photonics industry and dedicated professional associations, new milestones were set in the area of training and further education, but also in research and development.

The main reason for the shortage of skilled workers in Switzerland was identified as the lack of education for qualified photonics engineers at bachelor and master level. Some years ago, the majority of the Swiss photonics companies syndicated under the patronage of Swissmem as its Photonics Division. In 2015 the members defined their requirements for young skilled workers and prepared a position paper "Bachelor in Photonics" in which Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) were specifically asked to offer application-oriented bachelor programs.

The NTB with its long tradition in photonics R&D decided to go for such a program. A team developed a curriculum for a photonics profile and implemented it as part of the “Bachelor in Systems Engineering”. In autumn 2018 the first bachelor students graduated in photonics and were ready for an industrial career. The next step on the education roadmap in Switzerland was a specific profile in photonics as part of a nationwide Master Program in Engineering (MSE) for bachelor graduates of UAS. Here again the momentum came from the Swiss photonics industry. The planning and implementation of this unique master program is currently underway and is scheduled to start in September 2020.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 July 2019
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 11143, Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019, 111431K (2 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2522485
Show Author Affiliations
Markus Michler, Univ. of Applied Sciences and Technology Buchs (Switzerland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11143:
Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019
Anne-Sophie Poulin-Girard; Joseph A. Shaw, Editor(s)

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