2023-2024 ROC Optica Speaker Series: Nicholas Kochan - Principal Scientist, Physical Sciences Inc

  • October 18, 2023
  • 7:00 PM
  • Luminate/NextCorps - Sibley Square (Headquarters) 260 East Main Street Suite 6000


Registration is closed

Unexpected Opportunities from some Light Outreach

Nicholas Kochan  - Principal Scientist, Physical Sciences Inc

As a Bonus! After Nick's 30 min talk, there will be a 15 minute 'Optics Suitcase Training'

The Optics Suitcase was introduced as an optics outreach tool by Dr. Stephen D. Jacobs and the Rochester Section of OSA (now Optica) in 1999.  It was developed as an innovative, interactive presentation package designed to introduce middle school students to a range of concepts within the study of light.  This brief tutorial will introduce the Optics Suitcase program and provide instruction and tips on giving an Optics Suitcase presentation to a wide variety of audiences.


I will summarize some early career experience in optics educational outreach and impact that it had on my career growth in the field of optics, attempting to connect to peers, experts, and mentees alike. Because educational outreach is often an optional effort, the benefits may not be tabulated.  Yet so often it is the outcome of such outreach that creates bridges to overcoming industry capability gaps. I will review some different early career/student experiences with outreach, from optics experiments with scraps to helping to organize the Rochester Lilac Festival’s first (to my knowledge) optics outreach event. I will discuss what I learned from outreach and its impact on my career, highlighting outcomes with progress over the past few years in developing novel optical systems with metasurface, gradient index, and freeform optics.

About the speaker

Nicholas Kochan is currently a Principal Scientist at Physical Sciences Inc in Andover MA, aiding in development of advanced optical systems.  He completed his PhD, MS, and BS at the University of Rochester, where he was Forman Fellow and GAANN Fellow and received the Optica Harvey Pollicove Scholarship and Synopsys Hibert Memorial Optical Design Award. His PhD work was in the theory, design, and measurement of freeform gradient index optics with applications to ophthalmic lenses. He holds over 10 publications and a patent. He is an active member of Optica and SPIE, and has volunteered with these organizations on various outreach and community engagement efforts.

Parking and location

The talk will be held in the Luminate/NextCorps - Sibley Square (Headquarters) 260 East Main Street Suite 6000

Parking is available in the Mortimer Street and St. Joseph’s garages, enter via the SkyBridge on the 3rd floor of either garage to enter the Sibley Building on the 2nd floor, head to the business office and use the elevators to the 6th floor.

There is also ample street parking around the building. Enter via the business lobby and take the business elevators to the sixth floor.

Pre-talk dinner 

A pre-talk dinner will be held at the La Bola at 5:15 pm on 9/26 located in the same building as the meeting, at 240 E Main St, Rochester, NY 14604. If you would like to attend, please contact the house committee by email to make reservations. Email: house@opticarochester.org

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