Author Archives: bcromey

Optics in Montana!

I am very excited to finally write about my amazing trip up to Helena, Montana to talk about optics! This was such an enjoyable trip and one that will be a strong memory of my time at the U of A. This trip occurred back in May of this year.

Getting ready for the first presentation. I've got all my outreach tools ready in front of me. Can you tell I'm excited?

Getting ready for the first presentation. I’ve got all my outreach tools ready in front of me. Can you tell I’m excited?

The video on “Real Holography” that I made prompted this trip. A teacher friend of mine in Montana watched the video and showed it to her students. She later told me how much they enjoyed it. Her school is in the category of a rural school, and is far enough from any major university that a solid STEM presentation is hard to come by. I spoke with the folks at CIAN, and they agreed to fund my trip up there! I still smile thinking about the event, I had so much fun. My teacher friend, Deanna Carlson, organized several events for me. Continue reading

Being a “T” Shaped Engineer (and further adventures in Washington)

Have you heard the phrase “being a T shaped engineer” before? I first encountered the term last summer during my internship with Raytheon, and was reminded of it this week during a conversation at Lockheed. I’ve had the opportunity to interact with and attend meetings with the five young engineers at this site that are in Lockheed Martin’s Engineering Leadership Development Program. The ELDP is a three year program that helps young engineers become strong leaders through training conferences, rotational assignments, and mentoring from leadership. At the June meeting with the ELDP group, the idea of being T shaped came up, and how valuable being T shaped is. I’ve never heard the term at the University of Arizona before, so I thought it would be worthwhile to discuss the idea. Continue reading


Laser Fun Day report

This gallery contains 8 photos.

This story is very late, I’m afraid. Regardless, Laser Fun Day was a huge event so it’s worth discussing even this late. On March 1st, the College of Optical Sciences held it’s fourth annual Laser Fun Day! The event was well … Continue reading

Greetings from Washington State!

Greetings from the state of Washington! I am up here for my internship with Lockheed Martin. This location was originally a small business, Aculight, which Lockheed acquired in 2008, because of their groundbreaking work in high power fiber lasers. This site continues to make very high power fiber lasers, and I am fortunate enough to get to work here. While I’ve worked with lasers of several watts of power before, lasers that can burn holes into metal fit into a whole new category of dangerous, so a healthy respect and nervousness around the lasers here is almost essential to prevent accidents.

Myself at the Lockheed Site in Bothell, WA

Myself at the Lockheed Site in Bothell, WA

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Laser Fun Day

As the outreach coordinator for SOCk, I’ve put a lot of effort into the planning for Laser Fun Day, the College of Optical Sciences largest community event of the year. The University of Arizona’s news organization, UAnews, recently ran a story on the event.

If you’re in Tucson next Saturday, come out to the Meinel building on the U of A campus and enjoy Laser Fun Day!

The Discovery Channel, 3D holographic display edition

This is a snapshot from the Discovery Channel video

A snapshot from the Discovery Channel video

Remember my earlier post on the blog about the visit from the Discovery Channel? The video featuring the 3D Display Lab aired this past week on the Daily Planet as part of their Future Tech special. You can watch the video on the Discovery Channel Website in the link below. The portion involving myself and Dr. Pierre Blanche starts three minutes into the clip.


Cropped Ben face

Benjamin Cromey is pursuing his Bachelors in Optical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Arizona. As a member of the Optics Ambassadors and the Outreach Coordinator for the Student Optics Chapter, optics outreach is one of his passions. He participated in the 2012 IOU program with CIAN and has been working with 3D Holographic displays ever since.

Real Holography

Among the credits I was taking this fall at the University of Arizona was the lab course OPTI380A. This lab was a foray into the realm of physical optics. For this class we had a final project that included a final written report as well as a video report. The project had to investigate or showcase some aspect of physical optics. The video, which had to be under four minutes in length, had to effectively summarize the project.

My lab partner, Braden Smith, and I decided to look into real holography. The title of “real” indicates that we were going to make a hologram of a real object. As my bio indicates, I’ve been working with holograms for a while with CIAN. Our lab works with computational holograms, where a model from a computer is decomposed into many views that are then holographically recorded in our re-writable medium. I’ve always been interested in making a “real” hologram though. The idea interested Braden too, so we made it our project. I’ll let our video explain the rest. Check it out!

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