A number of Canadian universities havephotonics groups or centers. AlgonquinCollege in Ottawa offers diploma andbachelor’s degree programs, while Lavalstudents can earn a master’s degree inbiophotonics. McMaster University inHamilton, Ontario, has a bachelor’s degreein applied engineering in photonics, andthe University of Waterloo in Ontariooffers a certificate in education for photonics professionals. Brock College in St.Catharines, Ontario, even offers a graduatecertificate in lasers.
Around the world, photonics as a fieldhas been suffering from a general lack oftrained engineers and technicians, and theCPC reports that this is the case in Canadaas well. “Apart from the university education, there is not much exposure to photonics for students at the primary- andsecondary-school levels,” Têtu noted.
But organizations such as the Ontario
Photonics Education and Training Associ-
ation, which was founded by another OCE
Nantel, and the QPN have adopted the
cause of building up the number
of Canadian photonics engineers and
technicians and of attracting younger
students to science and technology
Outlook and goals
As big as photonics is in Canada, thereis always room for growth.
The CPC has outlined some strategiesfor general success: Photonics companiesshould be more proactive about reachingout to customers, to ensure the development of photonic solutions that will fittheir needs. Clusters and national photonics organizations should establish information portals to facilitate knowledgeexchange between companies and researchers. Canadian technology should beincreasingly commercialized, perhaps viainteragency programs using alternative financing and technology transfer methods,to ensure that technological developmentsare exploited to the maximum. R&D efforts, the group advised, should focus onareas of strategic importance to Canada.
Niagara College’s Welland campus in Ontario has a photonics lab with a cleanroom for laser research.
Courtesy of Niagara College.
Province/Region Companies Employees RevenuesQuébec 104 4750 600M CADOntario 117 10,200 3.0B CADPrairies 95 2990 330M CADBritish Columbia 50 2010 430M CADAtlantic 8 310 36M CADTotals 374 20,260 4.4B CAD
Source: “Making Light Work for Canada,” Canadian Photonics ConsortiumPhotonics in Canada: By the Numbers