AOM Summer Intern Spotlight

Aug 25, 2022

This summer, Arizona Optical Metrology has taken on several undergraduate and graduate student interns. Each intern has provided valuable contributions that we want to highlight.ย  We interviewed each intern – their answers to our questions are below.

๐—ก๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฒ ย  Samuel Stivers ย  Dani Balicki ย  Gregory Nero (they/them/theirs)
ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย 
๐—–๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚โ€™๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด, ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚โ€™๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ผ๐—ป, ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜†๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚โ€™๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป: Pima Community College working on getting my degree in Mechanical Engineering and Iโ€™m on my third year of school. I am a junior at the University of Arizona pursuing a Bachelor’s in Optical Science & Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. Third year PhD student at the University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences focusing on developing technologies to enable all-day wearable augmented reality displays.
๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—ป ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ธ/๐˜€๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—น? Indoor rock climbing and working on/talking about all sorts of car stuff with my friends. I spend most of my free time sewing, playing the bass guitar, and reading science fiction or horror novels. (2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining are my all-time favorites!) I really enjoy bicycling, listening to music,ย sewing & embroidery, going to concerts, writing, reading Murakami, and caring for my lovely plant children.
๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—”๐—ข๐— ? I intern for the Manufacturing department. I intern for the Marketing department. I intern for the Optical Engineering department.
๐—œ๐—ป ๐—ฎ ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐˜„ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€, ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ท๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ธ๐˜€? My overall main tasks are building the stages for the CGHs, getting our product shipped out to the buyers, and make sure ourย inventory is up to date. My main goal as an applications engineer intern is to learn the ins and outs of everything we do at AOM, then take that information and translate it into a medium that is easily digestible for the public, be that videos, photos, graphics, or social media posts. Most importantly, I provide valuable critique which enables Jake and Tyler to contend for who has the superior candy bowl. I am characterizing the uniformity of and developing a process for reactive ion etching of large-area computer-generated phase holograms.
๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜โ€™๐˜€ ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚โ€™๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ? Iโ€™ve learned a lot over theย course of the internship, one of the top learning moments for me was seeing how much cooperation is needed to get things done. Throughout my time at AOM, I’ve gained valuable knowledge and skills that will help me succeed in my future endeavors. I’m now familiar with holograms and their breadth of applications, more comfortable with the concept of diffraction having now seen it firsthand, and interested in learning more about optical metrology in general. The most valuable thing I’ve learned from this experience, however, is what a healthy and successful workplace looks like. The AOM family has created such a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere, it will be a hard standard for any future employers to beat! I’ve become very familiar with the techniques required to etch and measure computer-generated phase holograms. I’ve also continued to learn that nothing ever goes exactly as you initially planned and that’s just part of the process.
๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐—น๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚? A personal highlight for me was seeing a real life application of what Iโ€™m aspiring to be, and what it takes to further myself to reach the same level that everyone else is at and more. The highlight for me would be the Friday lunches. Jim and Chunyu are kind enough to provide lunch for us every Friday, and we all get to sit down and mingle over a meal. Often it’s the only time I get to see some of them, so it is always the highlight of my week. In one of my favorite fantasy novels The Name of the Wind, the main character attends a university to learn about exciting kinds of magic. Some of this magic involves making otherworldly items in a workshop: tangible things with incredible properties. My summer in the cleanroom fabricating holograms felt exactly like that.


Thanks for interning with us this summer!