michaelechter [at] rochester [dot] edu
Freeform Optical Systems, Opto-Mechanical Engineering, Metrology, Precision Engineering and Instrumentation, Space Systems Instrumentation
I am a PhD student at the University of Rochester Department of Mechanical Engineering, having completed my Masters in April 2014 and my Bachelors in May 2013. Questions regarding my current and past research can be directed to the above email address or to Dr. Jonathan Ellis (PI).
My initial research at the University of Rochester explored different mechanisms for fiber optic launching of lasers into lenses, for which a multi-degree of freedom fiber coupler/collimator was designed to increase the precision and efficiency over current commercially available options at a reduced cost. The initial design was conceived, built, and tested during my Bachelors. Throughout my Masters I mentored a senior design capstone group to further the design with a novel fiber-mating system, prototype the device, and test its performance.
As a Center for Freeform Optics (CeFO) Graduate Student, my Masters thesis was titled “Design of a Slope Sensitive Optical Probe with Fiber Detection for Freeform Optics Metrology”. This research combined mechanical engineering and optics into a practical application with a broad impact on the optics manufacturing industry. The optical probe uses a ‘carrier fringe’ detection method to compute localized slope changes and relative displacement, allowing the sub-aperture probe to raster the form of an optic and remain normal to the surface by providing feedback to an optical coordinate measurement machine (OCMM).
In November of 2014 I accepted a Graduate Student Technical Assistant position at MIT Lincoln Laboratory with the Mechanical Engineering Group where I am currently pursuing my PhD dissertation research on precision deployable opto-mechanical systems.