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Session Description:

This is a crash course for engineers into the basics of optomechanical engineering. The foundation of the material used for this course is based on Introductory Optomechanical Engineering, which is taught at the University of Arizona.


Part 1 starts with an introduction to optical principles, primarily focusing on geometrical optics as well as the notation. We then move into some basics on mechanical stress and strain. Finally, we end with reviewing metrics used for optical specifications, their definitions and some practical examples.

Part 2 delves into the combined effects of lens centering and lens mounting. There are a myriad of ways to mount lenses and each method has an implication for determining the optical axis in the system. We will cover the standard clamping methods, including self-centering, bonding, and flanges. Lastly, we briefly discuss the practicalities of modeling mounted optical systems using realistic mounts.


Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, you should have a basic understanding of the interactions between optical parameters and mechanical features & constraints. The aim is to guide you to have a greater understanding of the implications of a particular design choice, in terms of both functionality and feasibility.

Intended Audience

This is a beginning to intermediate level course, with material ranging from basic to complex, to provide both an overview and reference for further study.  The intended audience is engineers, scientists, and designers interested in gaining a greater understanding the intersection between optics and mechanics.


Dr. Jonathan D. Ellis is co-founder and Vice President for LIRIC Contact Lens at Clerio Vision, Inc., where he manages the development and production of LIRIC Contact Lens using a novel laser-based process. Prior to joining industry, he was a faculty member at the University of Rochester from 2011 to 2017 rising to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. In 2017, he joined the University of Arizona as a tenured Associate Professor of Optical sciences. He has mentored >20 students on their PhD and MS research, published >100 technical papers, and has >10 patents. He is the co-chair of SPIE’s Optomechanical Engineering Conference, an associate editor for Optics Express, and is a senior member of the OSA.