About Education Program for Photonics Professionals

The Education Program for Photonics Professionals (EP3) is a professional education program targeted to scientists and engineers working on photonics-related projects who lack the critical education background in optics and photonics. The education provided is the heart of a bachelor of science in Optics, distilled and packaged in a manageable time-frame and format for the working professional. The curriculum is driven by a broad-based analysis of industry’s needs, and tailored with the support of EP3’s industrial advisory board. EP3 provides strategic education to a number of sectors in which photonics is either a primary business or an important enabling technology.

The program consists of six part-time courses, each nine weeks long including a lab session. The whole program can be completed in eighteen to twenty-four months. This is considered the maximum study intensity a working professional can reasonably sustain and still retain information. Courses have been developed by University of Waterloo researchers and instructors, each well respected in their field. After passing a proctored examination, students receive a certificate for each course. A University of Waterloo diploma is awarded upon completion of the program.

What is photonics?

Photonics is a rapidly emerging technology associated with the generation, manipulation, transmission and detection of light. Photonics is transforming several industries, including: information technology and telecommunications, health care and life sciences, optical sensing, lighting and energy, manufacturing, defence, fabrication of optical components and systems, scientific and engineering research and environmental monitoring. The photonic sector Campaign of Industry Canada predicts that 30% of existing electronic technology will eventually be replaced by photonics.

Who should apply?

EP3 is designed for scientists, engineers and other technical professionals who need a broad, solid educational grounding in optics and photonics, to build and advance their careers. The courses are taught at a University level, and allow the student to evaluate, apply and develop optical technologies effectively. EP3 is not a technician’s program, though it does involve hands-on laboratory experience, and the deeper understanding developed may minimize the need for further technical training. Single course enrollment may also accommodate professionals with limited resources or a very specific topic of interest.

Course format

The EP3 program is designed for ease of learning and to minimize interruption to the participant’s work and private life. Each course is completed in eight consecutive weeks. Weekly course lectures are three hours in length and are supplemented by take-home assignments. Microsoft PowerPoint presentations are used in class, and are also made available to students as course notes. Not convinced that this format is for you? Think you're too far from campus? No problem! EP3 strives to be flexible, and allows various special arrangements to be made.