Career Paths in Optics Academia, Industry, Government

This LGS Innovations-sponsored talk series will feature three concurrent sessions on different career paths in optics. The focus will be on teh challenges and approaches to securing a job in academia, industry, and government. Multiple non-technical talks will be given in each career track.


  • Peter J. Delfyett: University Trustee Chair, Pegasus Professor of Optics & Photonics, ECE & Physics; Director, Townes Laser Institute CREOL (Academia)
  • Sasan Fathpour: Professor of Optics & Photonics, ECE (Academia)
  • Kyu Young Han: Assistant Professor of Optics & Photonics , Optical Nanoscopy Laboratory (Academia)


  • Hooman Banaei: Founder/CEO, Everix Optical Filters (Industry)
  • Jeremy Mares: Optical Systems Engineer II , Faro Technologies (Industry)
  • Government

    • Ronald Driggers: Former Superintendent of the Optical Sciences Division, Editor-in-Chief of Applied Optics , Naval Research Laboratory (Gov’t)
    • Anna Tabirian: VP and Chief Operating Officer at BEAM Engineering for Advanced Measurements Co. Beamco (Gov’t)

    Career Development Workshop

    Career Development Workshop programming will be organized by UCF Career Services. The workshop will consist of three interactive 50 minutes workshops on salary negotiations and evaluation, networking strategies in highly competitive job markets, and job search strategies to effectively identify employment opportunities.

    Group style resume critiques and free LinkedIn headshots will also be available.

    Career Fair

    This SPIE-sponsored Career Fair will promote job and internship placement of student attendees in the optics and photonics industry. It will host both local and international companies with a wide range of open positions. There will be an informal general session where students can share their resumes, network with recruiters, and learn more about career paths with present companies. Students will also be able to schedule formal one-on-one interviews with the companies they’re most interested in.

    The SPIE Career Fair is supported by the Career Fair Plus app, which provides company descriptions, available openings, and required skills and facilitates the interview scheduling process. Students can download this app, view company attendees, and even schedule interviews before attending the conference.

    Career Calibrator

    OSA® and the OSA® Foundation (OSAF) have partnered with Cheeky Scientist to launch the Career Calibrator, a new career training platform with world-class resources to support your professional development goals. This is a wonderful resource to prepare for IONS Orlando and to accelerate your career.

    This OSA® members-only benefit provides exclusive access to:

    • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT content for students and professionals who are job searching or looking to transition from academia to industry.
    • GUIDANCE on building a career transition plan, improving your resume/cv, interview skills and online presence.
    • GENERAL RESOURCES for building transferrable skills, conducting salary negotiations, navigating immigration laws and more.