Optomechanics – What do Optomechanics do all day?

Colleagues:

What does the optomechanical engineer bring to the table?  Hmmm…

A  few months ago a structural engineer friend asked me to analyze the strength of a lens assembly that he didn’t feel comfortable with.  It was injection-molded plastic, elastomeric rubber and glass.  OK…

Before that an optics friend challenged me to explain why it might be OK to mount glass lenses between threaded aluminum rings.  So, I did, but it took a while…

Another optics friend got me involved in resolving intellectual property disputes for mechanisms in cinematography lens assemblies…

Then a mechanical engineer friend needed a mass properties trade-off study between BK7 and sapphire for an airborne surveillance window…

Then another optics friend inquired about the possibility of nanometer-class structural actuators for 30 degrees K space optics.  So I designed, built and tested a successful set of them…

And before that I was asked to rationalize the structural damping coefficients to be used in an optical image jitter analysis.

The optomechanical engineer thinks outside the box.  He needs to work outside the box as well. 

Actually, I got that backwards:  He needs to work outside the box in order to be able to think outside the box.  It’s the peculiar demands, outside of his art, placed on the mechanical engineer by optics that inspire in him the intellectual curiosity to find workable engineering solutions.

Besides, he gets to enjoy your occasional company, too.  Thank you.

And, don’t forget to submit your abstract for “Optomechanical Engineering 2015.”
Assure your position in the program now:
         http://spie.org/OPO/conferencedetails/optomechanics
Hmmm… which one should I submit? 

Al H.
12-1-14

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