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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

The intricate and symbiotic relationship between educational institutions and the industry
Author(s): Gabrielle Thériault; Stéphane Galibois

Paper Abstract

Most Optics and Photonics hubs face the same challenges, especially in a very competitive, near-zero unemployment rates economy: not enough trained personnel at all levels (from technicians to Ph.D. candidates), entering the workforce. To reverse this trend, it is imperative that the Industry and Educational institutions team up towards better identifying the needs of the industry, both in terms of number of graduates and of their skillsets.

The first driver of a healthy workforce is the number of graduates in related programs. Encouraging teenagers to pursue science and engineering studies is beneficial to our industry in the long term. The second driver is highly-qualified personnel. Over the years, we have identified key skills for our industry and how they can be acquired either within standard cursi or through participation and organization of extracurricular activities.

We will present two examples on how our company collaborates with educational institutions located near our headquarters to answers the challenges mentioned above. With the Photonics Games, we helped develop an optics challenge for high school students. On top of raising interest for our field, an added benefit of this event is that the student organizers acquire project-management skills that complement their studies. At the “Challenge Techno”, some of our employees share their personal experience and show how careers in Optics and Photonics can lead down varied paths, even when all starting as technicians.

These examples show that both academia and the industry can contribute to nurture and support tomorrow’s workforce.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 July 2019
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 11143, Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019, 111431W (2 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2523871
Show Author Affiliations
Gabrielle Thériault, Gentec Electro-Optics, Inc. (Canada)
Stéphane Galibois, Gentec Electro-Optics, Inc. (Canada)

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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