Certificate in Advanced Manufacturing & Integrated Photonics

Photonics, the study of light-based technology and other applications of optical science, is rapidly expanding. But the supply of qualified workers is inadequate to fulfill industry hiring needs, particularly personnel involved in assembly, quality control, testing, repair and technical work. This certificate program – offered by the Stonehill-Bridgewater Partnership for Integrated Photonics in collaboration with MIT's AIM Photonics Academy – is designed to equip program participants with the skills and experience needed to thrive in this burgeoning market.

Backed by the support of the U.S. Office of Naval Research

The Certificate program offered by the Stonehill-Bridgewater Partnership for Integrated Photonics is supported by a $770,000 sub-grant as part of a $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research grant to  AIM Photonics Academy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bridgewater State University
American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics
Stonehill College

This certification is a 15-month, 27-credit program to prepare students – with little or no background in the field ­– for careers as technicians in the integrated photonics industry. One of the program's key strengths is the learning and networking potential of the program faculty's strong industry connections and reputation in STEM fields.

The courses provided by the Stonehill-Bridgewater Partnership will be offered primarily during evenings and weekends, to accommodate students with full-time jobs. There will be heavy emphasis on hands-on work - generally two hours in the lab for every hour in the classroom. Students also experience a unique MIT photonics boot camp over the course of several one-day field trips.

Ed Deveney, professor of physicsOur students are already working in the field across Massachusetts, including exciting start-up ventures. Here, you get the hands-on experience and know-how in everything you will need to gain well-paid positions in the fast-growing photon- and light-based economy.”
Ed Deveney, professor of physics, Bridgewater State University


A Distinct Advantage in a Growing Field

The certificate program will benefit traditional college students who could earn both an academic degree and a technical certificate in integrated photonics, a big advantage when seeking employment after graduation. The program also holds promise for students at community colleges and vocational high schools as well as workers seeking retraining, veterans entering the private sector and underrepresented populations.

Why You Should Apply

  • Access faculty at three academic institutions in one of the few photonics technician programs in the U.S.
  • Gain skills that increase marketability in other technical fields, e.g. robotics, electronics, and materials
  • Work one-on-one with an established mentor in industry
  • Learn in a cutting-edge optics and photonics lab with equipment used in industry – including a femtosecond laser
  • Benefit from a 10-week apprenticeship requirement that delivers valuable workplace experience

This integrated program is consistent with the partner schools’ deep commitment to high-impact, experiential learning. It incorporates theoretical and applied approaches to physics, business and/or engineering. Students will apply their training in a capstone project of their choice to create or improve a relevant product or process.

Program Benefits and Highlights

  • Part-time
  • Complete program in as little as four semesters
  • Attend both Stonehill College and Bridgewater State University (BSU), known for advanced optics and photonics labs
  • Experience the unique MIT boot camp over the course of several one-day field trips
  • Exceptional courses include: Fiber Optics, Optics and Lasers, Digital Fundamentals, Electricity and Electronics, Tools and Testing Equipment, Tools for Advanced Manufacturing and Photonics, Statistical Process Control and Automation, Photonic Integrated Circuits, and a Capstone Project

Program Outcomes

  • Design components for semiconductor and optical devices
  • Design efficient fabrication processes
  • Problem solving, technical communication and safety in Photonics and Optics technician workplace
  • Electronics (basic theory, application including measure and test) in the Photonics and optics technician workplace
  • Learn to define a photonics project or problem clearly
  • Learn to conduct applied work in a timely fashion
  • Learn to communicate the results of a project

Apprenticeship Provides Experience and Connections

The three-month apprenticeship requirement lasts the entirety of the final semester. Through a concurrent capstone project, students gain practice at applying the skills learned in previous courses and  develop workplace experience and industry contacts helpful when it comes time to move into the workforce. Apprenticeships help to guarantee that students are leaving graduate school with skills that employers desire.