12 July 2017

OSA Members Host Photonics Facility Tour for Congressman Charlie Dent

WASHINGTON – During the recent District Work Week, Representative Charlie Dent (R - Pa) toured the Center for Photonics and Nanoelectronics (CPN) and the Smith Family Laboratory for Optical Technologies, Lehigh University, PA. The tour was arranged by OSA members Nelson Tansu, the Daniel E. ’39 and Patricia M. Smith Endowed Chair Professor and Director of the CPN and Sean Anderson, a Photonics Engineer at Cisco.
During the visit, Rep. Dent and his staff met with members of the CPN facility, Lehigh University faculty and others. The tour provided the congressman with an update on work being done at the center as well as the importance of sustained federal funding for scientific research and development. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Dent will play a key role in determining funding for key R&D agencies as part of the FY 2018 funding bills.
Congressman Dent (center) toured the facility with CPN staff, Lehigh University faculty members and others  

“Intelligently budgeted research funding is important to growing the national economy, especially in fields that will lead to revolutionary new products and technologies,” said Congressmen Dent. “The next ten years will see exponential growth in the field of photonics and nanoelectronics. The applications and devices that will be developed will not just boost the economy, they’ll radically advance the fields of computing, communications and medicine.”
“The CPN has drawn highly talented students and faculty members to Lehigh University and the Lehigh Valley, including 140 students who have received PhDs working in photonics themed disciplines within the center in the past decade,” said Tansu. “We owe much of our success to the consistent support we have received from the federal government, the state of Pennsylvania and our industrial partners. In addition to advancing the scientific and technological innovations in these fields, the CPN also continues to explore ways to strengthen its connection with industry in the Lehigh Valley, specifically by better placement of its students into these companies and nurturing entrepreneurial activities with these partners.”
The CPN has received major support from federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. This support has helped CPN have a positive impact on the photonics industry in Lehigh Valley conduct innovative optics research.
“Rep. Dent was one of the key figures in helping get the CPN up and running and has been a strong champion of R&D funding,” said Anderson. “This visit was a great opportunity for Rep. Dent to see the positive impact optics and photonics has had on the community, as well as stress the importance of science-based funding research and development projects.” 
Most members of Congress work their home districts during congressional recesses, making them ideal times to try and set up facility tours. The Optical Society offers assistance to members and member companies who would like try and arrange facility tours. In addition, OSA participates in Congressional Visit Days, where members come to Washington, DC to meet with congressional staff members on Capitol Hill. Those interested in working to schedule facility tours or participate in future CVD’s should contact public-policy@osa.org.
The Optical Society encourages members to visit our Public Policy  page to learn more on the latest legislative and executive actions. You can also learn how to contact your local representatives and tell them about the importance of funding science and research.
About The Optical Society
Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit www.osa.org.
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