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Career Steps Profile: SPIE Fellow Jannick Rolland

Optics Research Career Was "Complete Match"

photo of Dr. Jannick Rolland, Univ of Central Florida

Jannick Rolland

Age: 47

Job: Professor of optics and computer science with joint appointments in the Colleges of Medicine and Engineering at the University of Central Florida

Expertise: 3D optical imaging/sensing systems and 3D display systems

Influences: PhD advisor and mentor, Dr. Harry Barrett, University of Arizona. We've stayed in touch. He has helped with recommending me for positions and with portraying the impact of my work. His high standard for excellence is a continuous source of inspiration.

Easiest Career Step: When I discovered research, it was a complete match. I was good at optical instrumentation in France. I came to the U. S. to get a fresh perspective. I visited Arizona and committed to doing a PhD at that time. Research is about innovation and understanding processes As soon as I discovered the research world, there was no return. I didn't have to think about it. I love research as it relates to optics and informatics.

Pre-Risk Taking Steps: I tell my students once they have done their homework (read the literature, create a model, etc.), follow your intuition. I allow the space to fail, but you don't want to fail without doing your homework. … If as a team, we allow for that space, we can move much faster in the innovation and learning process.

Recent Step: Appointed full professor in 2007, SPIE Fellow in 2008

Current Innovations at University: Teaching in teams. Especially in biomedical, you want to teach some solid engineering with life sciences. Usually people are strong in one area, but not both. Biomedical students can get some hardcore engineering in how to use the instrument properly. And they have to understand the science. This is innovation in teaching. In research, innovation is often the result of systems engineering, where in spite of the taboos about academia, we create and develop but also build and test advanced technologies aimed at solving real-world problems. Basic research plays a key role in enabling innovation. Maintaining a balance is important.

Profile Submitted: February 2008

DOI: 10.1117/2.4200802.97

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