The National Center for Optics and Photonics Education (OP-TEC, www. op-tec.org) has been directed by the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program to support engineering technician workforce development for the national Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Initiative (IPMI). 

OP-TEC is designing the curriculum and teaching materials that will be used by two-year community and technical colleges to educate and retrain engineering technicians for Silicon Photonics. The specifications that will be used to design and develop the curriculum are Skill Standards that have been reviewed and validated by current and future SiP employers.

Skill Standards are used to document the skills, knowledge and performance standards that employers require in their technicians, and to communicate the information to community and technical colleges. OP-TEC will use the skill standards to develop curricula and course materials that colleges will use in their SiP courses.

OP-TEC has initially identified two types of Silicon Photonics Technicians, 1) Wafer Fab Equipment Technicians, and 2) Integrated Photonics Test and Assembly Technicians. We are currently focused on the Test and Assembly Technicians, and have developed a draft set of Skill Standards that list 10 Critical Work Functions and Tasks that have been identified for IP Test and Assembly Technicians. 

IP Test and Assembly technicians typically have two-year degrees from community colleges and are responsible for the operation and maintenance of equipment used to test wafers, as well as interpreting the results of the tests. Some of these technicians may also be responsible for the assembly and packaging of photonic integrated circuits (PICs) while others are responsible for 

the operation and maintenance of equipment to test the PICs, as well as interpreting the results of those tests. These technicians also should have an understanding of failure analysis and reliability to aid in diagnosing failed parts and systems. They work in a clean environment, where personal equipment and clothing are designed to help control the level of contamination within the environment.

We are asking employers to complete a brief survey to support the skill standards validation process for Integrated Photonics Test and Assembly Technicians.

Thank you for supporting community college based technician education.
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