The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster/New York Photonics (RRPC) has honored three leaders in education and business for their contributions to New York’s Optics and Photonics Industry.

RRPC Executive Director Tom Battley presented the awards in front of more than 200 representatives of industry, government and education from across the region at the RRPC’s 2014 Annual Meeting on Sept. 4 at the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

Michael Pavia
Michael Pavia

The RRPC Entrepreneur Award recipient for 2014 is Sydor Instruments Co-Founder and President Michael Pavia, who was recognized for demonstrating creativity, innovative spirit and drive in pursuit of the dream of creating an industry-leading company in the optics, photonics and imaging industry. Sydor Instruments provides custom diagnostics and ultrafast imaging systems, specializing in streak cameras, smart cameras and electro-optic detection techniques. Pavia’s company recently acquired the UK-based ballistics testing system supplier Sabre Ballistics. The deal doubles the size of Sydor’s international customer base, with a projected 50 percent increase in revenues. Pavia is an Adjunct Professor in Entrepreneurship at the University of Rochester’s Simon Graduate School of Business.

Jay Eastman
Jay Eastman

The RRPC Leadership Award recipient for 2014 is Dr. Jay Eastman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of  Optel, Inc. Eastman was recognized for his work with fellow members of the RRPC and the community to advance the region’s optics, photonics and imaging industry. His company designs and manufactures medical products and provides medical device regulatory compliance assistance for third party customers. Previously, as CEO of Lucid, Inc., he directed the development, manufacture and sale of non-invasive medical imaging devices for the diagnosis of skin cancers and other dermatological disease. Prior to Lucid, Eastman founded Optel Systems, Inc., the first company to develop, manufacture and sell laser diode based bar code scanners. The company was acquired by PSC Inc. in 1986.


Stephen Jacobs
Stephen Jacobs

   The RRPC Education Award recipient for 2014 is Dr. Stephen Jacobs, Professor of Optics and Chemical Engineering at the University of Rochester, and Senior Scientist at U of R’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE). He was recognized for inspiring students to embrace optics, photonics and imaging sciences and guiding them in career development.  Jacobs has spent his entire career working in the LLE, where he became a Senior Scientist in 1982. He developed the innovative Optics Suitcase educational initiative, designed to introduce middle school age students to the exciting range of concepts within the study of light. To date, 701 suitcases have been assembled and distributed to educators worldwide. Each case includes a teaching guide and materials for demonstrations and experiments that teach optics in a fun, interactive atmosphere.

A special presentation was made to Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY 25th Dist.) in honor of her late husband, Robert Slaughter. The RRPC has donated $2,500 in Mr. Slaughter’s name to the Dr. Walter Cooper Academy Fund of the Rochester Education Foundation. The funds will be used to purchase books for students at the City of Rochester school. Mr. Slaughter, who passed away earlier this year, was remembered as an avid reader who valued education.


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New York Photonics is a not-for-profit organization founded to promote and enhance the New York State optics, photonics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.


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