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Welcome to the Photonics Research Center!

This Center for the United states Military Academy has faculty members from the Departments of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Physics, and Chemistry & Life Science. Please review the information about our faculty and the research the are completing. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Recent Events
Faculty Development Research Funds Awarded
West Point, 8 January 2013
Congratulations FRDF 2013 Awardees! Each year the PRC, in concert with the Dean's Research Council, commits $20,000 to individual faculty research projects. Faculty researchers compete for part of this funding. This year's winners are:
  • Dr. Eileen Kowalski, "Cognitive Learning in Introductory College Science Education"
  • LTC Carl Brinkley, "Optimization of Molecular Cloning Methods for Bacterial Pathogenesis Research"
  • LTC Norman Waters, "Molecular studies of the cell cycle machinery of the malaria parasite: applications in the integration of basic and applied science"
  • LTC F. John Burpo, "DNA-Templated 3 -Dimensional Nano -Porous Networks for Lightweight Energy Storage Applications"
  • MAJ William McCalmont, "Biological analysis of dervivatives of Mycophenolic acid (MA) as potential anti-parasitic compounds"
  • LTC Kristopher Ahlers, "The Design of a Multifunctional Material System with Energy Harvestion via Entropy Generation Minimization for Military Applications"
  • MAJ Kevin Blaine, "Transport Imaging of Spatial Distribution of Mobility-Lifetime Product in Bulk Semiconductors for Nuclear Radiation Detectors"
Army Research Lab-US Military Academy Technical Symposium (AUTS 2012)
Florence Park, NJ, 29-30 November 2012
Cadets working with the Photonics Research Center presented their research results at the annual West Point Projects Day. Three teams presented posters or oral presentations about their group's work to an audience of over 200 ARL research leaders, West Point Faculty, and West Point Cadets. The three teams presented results on:


  • Towards Pan-Species Opt-Mechanical Chemical Agent Detector
  • Towards All-Optical Wave Division Demultiplexing in Silicon Microrings
  • Analysis of an Adaptive Camouflage Technique of Cuttle Fish using Hyperspectral Imagery

Biennial Technical Review
West Point, 23-24 October 2012
The PRC hosted Dr. Hammond, Director of the Army Research Office, and his technical staff in a review of the outstanding research carried out by the PRC.  The ARO leadership were treated to briefings by PRC researchers and collaborators, a tour of the new West Point Science Center, and Cadet-led laboratory demonstrations within the PRC labs.

Frontiers in Optics 2012
Rochester, NY, 15-19 October 2012
Cadet David Covell '13 presented work that he co-authored with CPT John Zehnpfennig, CDT Matthew Letarte '13, LTC(P) Kraig Sheetz, and COL James J. Raftery, Jr at the FiO 2012 conference.  FiO is a major international conference focused on optics, photonics, and major advances in laser science and was attended by over 1500 researchers from around the world.  CDT Covell presented the talk, entitled "Surface Optomechanics; Analytic Solution of Detection Limits of Surface Acoustic Waves in Various Fluids" to a standing room only crowd.

Recent Announcements
Sheetz Selected for Promotion
Washington, DC, December 2012
Lietenant Colonel Kraig E. Sheetz, PhD was selected for promotion to the rank of Colonel.  LTC(P) Sheetz is an Academy Proffessor assigned to the Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering Associate Professor and the Primary Investigator on the PRC's Ultrashort Pulse Length Laser.
Letarte Makes Final Hertz Round
West Point, September 2012
Cadet Matthew Letarte '13, Company D-2, a Chemical Engineering major and PRC researcher under the advisement of CPT Zehnpfennig, was selected to compete for the Gertz Graduate Fellowship.  The Hertz Fellowship is a world class 5-year graduate fellowship.  Mationally, several thousand of the best engineering and science students compete for this fellowship.  Only 9 to 20 of these applicants are awarded the Fellowship.  CDT Letarte is in the final round of interviews, among the top 100 students considered for this Fellowship.
Shoop Raised to Fellow, IEEE
San Jose, CA, 9 May 2012
Colonel Barry L. Shoop, PhD, PE was recognized by the IEEE for his superior contributions to national security via his research in analog-to-digital conversion.  The IEEE is the international professional society for Electrical and Computer Engineers and has over 400,000 members world wide.  Of those, only one tenth of one percent are elligible for the distinction of Fellow.  COL Shoop is presently a Professor, USMA and the Deputy Head of the USMA Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and he is a past director of the PRC from 1995 to 2000.