The science of light, once confined to research labs and science fiction novels, has found its way into our everyday lives. The applications of optics can be seen everywhere. A list of more common examples of these applications include laser printers, fiber optic communication, internet switches, fiber optic telephone lines, compact disc players, credit cards bearing holograms, grocery checkout scanners, computers and eye surgery. The field of optics is an enabling technology and is growing at a rapid pace. Optical techniques are found in a wide range of areas such as surveying and construction, measurements of material parameters and deformation, flow measurements, communications, machine vision, laser cutting, drilling and welding, data storage, internet switches, optical computers and sensors etc. Surveys show that there is a growing demand for optical designers/scientists/ engineers every year. Opportunities for graduates in Optical Engineering are available in many industries, including automated inspection, consumer electronics, fiber optic communications, optical instrumentation, laser devices, radar systems, data storage etc.

The Optical Engineering bachelor’s degree program is one of the few in the country. This program provides a firm foundation for those interested in continuing thier studies in optics at the graduate level, as well as for those going into industry. The curriculum was developed by the faculty with input from industrial representatives as well as from renowned national and international optics educators. Because of the diverse applications of optics, the curriculum contains a mix of courses in physics and mathematics as well as humanities and social sciences. The Optical Engineering program at Rose-Hulman stresses laboratory instruction. We also encourage students to look at options for a double major, especially Optical Engineering with electrical, computer or mechanical engineering.

Students majoring in degree programs other than Optical Engineering are eligible to obtain an area minor in Optical Engineering.

The Department of Physics and Optical Engineering also offers an M.S. (Optical Engineering) degree. The masters level degree program complements the B.S. (Optical Engineering) degree program. Highly motivated students may obtain both a B.S. and an M.S. in Optical Engineering in a five-year period. A plan of study for this program must be approved by the end of the student’s junior year.

OE Program Educational Objectives

  • Our graduates will set their career path and advance beyond their entry-level position or progress toward the completion of an advanced degree.
  • Our graduates will make a meaningful impact on society.
  • Our graduates will behave ethically and act as responsible members of the engineering and science community.
  • Our graduates will continue to develop professionally

OE Student Learning Outcomes

Outcome A: Knowledge of the Fundamentals: An understanding of the fundamentals of science and engineering
Outcome B1: Interpreting Data: Ability to interpret graphical, numerical, and textual data
Outcome B2: System Level Modeling: Ability to model components and system optical engineering problems
Outcome B3: Experimentation:Ability to design and conduct experiments to understand the relationships between variables in a problem which may or may not have been mathematically modeled before
Outcome C: Design: Ability to design a product or process to satisfy client's needs subject to constraints
Outcome D: Team work: Ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams and understand the effective team dynamics and be able to deliver a product
Outcome E: Problem Solving: Ability to apply relevant scientific and engineering principles to solve real world optical engineering problems
Outcome F: Professional Practice and Ethics: A sound understanding what an optics professional is and have an awareness and understanding of professional ethics
Outcome G: Communication: Ability to communicate effectively in oral, written and visual forms
Outcome H: Contemporary issues and global awareness: An awareness of contemporary issues in engineering profession and the role of professionals in an interdependent global society
Outcome I: Life Long Learning: A facility for independent learning and continued professional development

The optical engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,www.abet.org

Optical Engineering

Freshman Year
Fall Term

Credit

MA
PH
CLSK
RH
EM
111
111
100
131
104
Calculus I
Physics I
College and Life Skills
Rhetoric and Composition
Graph Comm
5
4
1
4
2
     


16

       
Winter Term

Credit

PH
MA
CHEM
ME
112
112
111
123
Physics II
Calculus II
General Chemistry I
Computer Applications I
4
5
4
4
     


17

       
Spring Term

Credit

PH
MA
CHEM
OE
EM
113
113
113
172 
103
Physics III
Calculus III
General Chemistry II
Optics in Tech
Intro Eng. Design
4
5
4
2
2
     


17

Sophomore Year
Fall Term

Credit

MA

SV
PH
MA
PH
223

151
235
211
292
Engineering Statistics
or
Principles of Economics
Many-Part Physics
Differential Equations
Physical Optics

4

4
4
4
     


16

Winter Term

Credit

ECE
PH

MA
OE
203
255

212
280
DC Circuits 
Fnd. of Mod. Phys.
Matrix Algebra and Systems of Differential Equations
Paraxial Optics
4
4

4
4
     


16

Spring Term

Credit


OE
SV

MA
ECE

295
151

223
204
Free Elective
Optical Systems
Principles of Economics
or
Engineering Statistics
AC Circuits
4
4

4

4
     


16

Junior Year
Fall Term

Credit

PH
OE

PH
ECE
316
360

405
205
Elec & Mag Fields
Optical Materials and
Opto-Mechanics
S.C. Mat & Appl.
Dynamical Systems
4
4

4
4
     


16

       
Winter Term

Credit

OE

EP
HSS

RH
393

406


330
Fiber Opt & App
Free Elective
SC Dev & Fab 
Elective
or
Technical and Professional Communication
4
4
4

4
     


16

       
Spring Term

Credit

OE
HSS
HSS

RH

OE
415



330

450
Opt Eng Des I
Elective
Elective
or
Technical and Professional Communication
Laser Systems
4
4

4


4
     


16

Senior Year
Fall Term

Credit

OE
OE
HSS
OE
480
495

416
Lens Des & Abb
Optical Metrology
Elective
Opt Eng Des II
4
4
4
4
     


16

       
Winter Term

Credit

OE
HSS

OE
485


417
Electro-Opt. & App.
Elective
Engineering Elective
Opt Eng Des III
4
4
4
4
     


16

       
Spring Term

Credit


HSS
HSS


Engineering Elective
Elective
Elective
Free Elective
4
4
4
4
     


16

       
   

Total credits required: 194

     
 
If OE 172 is not taken during the freshman or sophomore year, the requirement must be replaced with a 300 or 400-level OE course of at least 2 credits.

Summary of Graduation Requirements for Optical Engineering

1. All the courses listed above by the number.
2. The program must be approved by the advisor.
3. A technical elective is any RHIT course in chemistry, computer science, engineering, life sciences, mathematics, or physics
   
  Classes by subjects

Hours

Optics Coursework

46

Physics Coursework

20

Freshmen Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics Coursework 47
Humanities and Social Science (Standard requirement) 36
Electives (8 credits engineering electives, and 12 credits of free electives; cannot include ECE 340) 20
Miscellaneous 25
Total 194
   
Physics Classes  
Course Description Hours
PH235 Many particle physics 4
PH255 Foundations of Modern Physics 4
PH292 Physical Optics 4
PH316 Elec & Mag Fields 4
PH405 Semiconductor Materials & Applications 4
Total   20
     
Freshman Physics, Math and Chemistry Classes  
Course Description Hours
PH111 Physics I 4
PH112 Physics II 4
PH113 Physics III 4
MA111 Calculus I 5
MA112 Calculus II 5
MA113 Calculus III 5
MA211 Differential Equations 4
MA212 Matrix Algebra and Systems of Differential Equations 4
MA223 Engineering Statistics 4
CHEM105 Engineering Chemistry I 4
CHEM107 Engineering Chemistry II 4
Total   47
     
Miscellaneous and Engineering Classes  
Course Description Hours
CLSK 100 College and Life Skills 1
EM 104 Graphical Communication 2
EP 406 Semiconductor Devices and Fabrication 4
ME 123 Computer Applications I 4
EM 103 Introduction to Design 2
ECE 203 DC Circuits 4
ECE 204 AC Circuits 4
ECE 205 Dynamical Systems 4
Total   25
       

Area Minor
The course requirements and advisors for Area Minors in Optical Engineering, Solid State Physics/Materials Science, and Electronics are listed below. Successful completion of an Area Minor is indicated on the student’s grade transcript. A student interested in pursuing an Area Minor should consult with the appropriate advisor.

Area Minor in Astronomy
(Eligibility: students in any major degree program)
Advisors: Drs. Ditteon, Duree, Kirkpatrick, McInerney and Syed

Required Courses

Course Hours Course Description
PH 230 4 Introduction to Astronomy and Astrophysics
PH 240 4 Planetary Science and Cosmology
PH 310 2 Introduction to Relativity
PH 322 4 Celestial Mechanics
Plus four hours of:
PH 270 2 Special Topics in Physics
PH 290 2 Directed Research
PH 460 4 Directed Study
PH 470 4 Special Topics in Physics
PH 490 4 Directed Research

The optional courses must be on a topic approved by one of the astronomy advisors.

Area Minor in Optical Engineering
(Eligibility: students in any degree program, except programs where Optical Engineering is designated as one of the majors.)
Advisors: Drs. Bunch, Ditteon, Duree, Granieri, Joenathan, Lepkowicz, Siahmakoun, Wagner, F. Berry, and Black.

Required Courses

Course Hours Course Description
OE 280 4 Paraxial Optics
PH 292 4 Physical Optics
OE 295 4 Optical Systems

Plus at least two courses from one of the areas listed below:

Lens Design Area
Course Hours Course Description
OE 360 4 Optical Materials and Opto-mechanics
OE 415 4 Optical Engineering Design I
OE 480 4 Lens Design and Aberrations
OE 490 4 Directed Research (4 Credits Only)
Photonics/Electro-optics Area
Course Hours Course Description
OE 360 4 Optical Materials and Opto-mechanics
OE 415 4 Optical Engineering Design I
OE 450 4 Laser Systems and Applications
OE 485 4 Electro-optics and Applications
OE 490 4 Directed Research (4 credits only)
OE 493 4 Fundamentals of Optical Fiber Communications
Image Processing Area
Course Hours Course Description
OE 415 4 Optical Engineering Design I
OE 490 4 Directed Research (4 Credits Only)
PH 437/ECE 480 4 Introduction to Image Processing
PH 537/ECE 582 4 Advanced Image Processing

In order to have the area minor posted to your transcripts you must submit an area-minor completion form to the registrar. Forms are available in the Physics and Optical Engineering department office.

Also see Certificate Program in Semiconductor Materials and Devices

Area Minor in ECE: (Eligibility: Only students in Physics and Optical Engineering)
Advisors: Optical Engineering faculty and ECE faculty

Course Hours Course Description
ECE 203 4 DC Circuits
ECE 204 4 AC Circuits
ECE 205 4 Dynamical Systems
ECE 300 4 Continuous-Time Signals and Systems
ECE 310 4 Communication Systems
ECE 380 4 Discrete-Time Signals and Systems

required courses

In order to have the area minor posted to your transcript you must submit an area-minor completion form to the registrar. Forms are available in the Electrical and Computer Engineering office.

Optical Communications Certificate

Faculty advisors: B. Black, R. M. Bunch and S. Granieri

Rose-Hulman has become a leader in providing opportunities for students to choose a great mainstream degree program with flexibility to specialize in other areas of interest. This leadership is in no way limited to only traditional areas of study. One of these new areas that had a high impact in technology is optical communications. It is a rapidly growing field requiring investment beyond the traditional program structure, and is well suited to the students at Rose-Hulman All these topics are closely related to well established disciplines as optics and electronics. Considerable R&D efforts are allocated in both university and industrial laboratories enhancing the demand for both researchers and engineers with expertise in the field.

We propose the creation of a new certificate program in Optical Communications to enhance the programs currently offered. Combining expertise in Optical and Electrical Engineering, this program requires an interdisciplinary emphasis that is beyond the traditional content of either of its parent programs. This program is more than just the creation of the certificate program Optical Communications. This program will be critical to help developing a more interdisciplinary interaction for students and faculty. The creation of a workgroup within the faculty of both departments will coordinate current courses and resources, create new courses of interest for the field, and develop a showcase testbed education and research laboratory. Primary objectives include the removal of redundancy from existing courses, increasing interaction between the PHOE and ECE Departments, and improving opportunities for students in the field.

This certificate is designed to give the student a firm theoretical and practical working knowledge in the area of fiber optic devices, optical communications, networks and its applications. The main purpose is to couch these fundamentals in a context that serves as the backbone for device, components and sub-system development for use in high-speed optical data and information links and networks. At the end of the program the student will be expected to:

  1. Understand the fundamental operation characteristics of high speed optoelectronic components, such as laser transmitters, light modulators and receivers and passive fiber optic components as connectors, couplers, filters, and switches.
  2. Understand the technology and performance of analog and digital fiber optic links, optical amplification and optical wavelength division multiplexing and optical time division multiplexing networks.
  3. Have a hands-on working knowledge of the use of fiber optic test equipment and techniques used by industry and telecommunication companies to test the performance of optical fiber links and components, such as, optical time domain reflectometry, optical spectrum analyzers and optical bit error testing equipment.

The Certificate will consist of 20 credit hours of which 12 credit hours will be required courses. Students interested in pursuing this Certificate should contact an ECE/PHOE certificate advisor (Professors Black, Bunch, and Granieri)

Required Courses

ECE 310 Communication Systems
OE 393 Fiber Optics and Applications
OE 493 Fundamentals of Optical Fiber Communications

Elective Courses (two from the list)
Only courses not required for the student’s major will count for electives in the certificate.

ECE 380 Discrete Time & Continuous Systems
ECE 410 Communication Networks
ECE 414 Wireless Systems
OE 360 Optical Materials and Opto-mechanics
OE 435 Biomedical Optics
OE 450 Laser Systems and Applications
OE 485 Electro-Optics and Applications