If he's not working on exciting new optics designs, Blair can usually be found washing dishes or taste testing new recipes at his husband's restaurant, Relish, in Rochester's South Wedge. At RPO, Blair oversees an elite group of optical design engineers and develops strategic optics programs for customers. Here he shares more about his expertise and the in-house dynamic that makes RPO an ideal precision optics partner.
Outside of work, Clint Braine spends much of his time enjoying the arts —tasting and cooking new recipes, reading fiction novels, or sitting on the Critique Committee of the Rochester International Film Festival. His role with RPO, on the other hand, involves the company’s growth into the life sciences market. He shares his experience as a relatively new RPO employee and the opportunities he's had so far.
When it comes to product development, it is easy to get stuck in a prototyping loop. Ironically, driving the prototyping process too fast is the usual cause of the trap. Trying to optimize every design variable simultaneously means that the overall project flounders. In optical engineering, a prototype trap can be created by setting tight performance specifications too early.
An interview with Robert Mendenhall, materials scientist and Director of Sales and Business Development with Guernsey Coating.
Material costs and prototyping limitations have presented challenges to manufacturers trying to work with advanced optical designs. As the demand for IR optics rapidly increased in recent years, it drove material costs higher and put a strain on supplies. These changes caused a shift in material selection for thermal applications. Germanium has long been the traditional choice for IR system development, but the search for cost-effective, high-performing alternatives has led to advancements using chalcogenide glasses.
An interview with Rick Bryant of RPO and Andres Cifuentes of ASE Optics Europe
The options for rapid prototyping of optics and assemblies are expanding across the board. With advances in diamond turning of chalcogenides, small runs of even IR optics are becoming faster and more affordable.
Outside of RPO, Scott Wilt is usually golfing or fishing, traveling with his wife, or cheering his daughters on at sporting events. But at work, Scott uses his 20+ years of experience in plastic optics to contribute to the growing injection molding capabilities at RPO. Learn how Scott's expertise is helping the program advance and what's important to the success of plastic optics.
As a newer member of the RPO team, Kelly La Due has had a big impact since taking on the role of Master Scheduler. Described as a planner extraordinaire, Kelly is preparing RPO for the next stage of their growth and managing their high volume optics programs.
Topics: Meet the Team
In optics, manufacturability is heavily dependent on product design and material selection. Whether a product has a complex or simple design, the material used to create the lens will determine performance, cost, volume and several other factors. With a variety of materials and manufacturing methods available, how does a company determine the material that will provide the best outcome?