Courses related to topics within SPIE Optics + Photonics

The course offerings will give you the technical training you need to excel in your field

Get training onsite and connect with colleagues

SPIE will offer courses in San Diego. Join us onsite for in-person training, meet the instructor, and connect with your peers.

Created by experts, SPIE courses are designed to expand professional knowledge and skills.

Topics include optomechanics, optical design, optical alignment, fabrication, deep learning and more.

Course instructor at SPIE Optics + Photonics
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Preview courses before you attend

Watch recordings of our free Instructional Webinar series that provide an overview of several courses scheduled at Optics + Photonics. Each webinar in the series is conducted by the course instructor and offers an introduction to various optics and photonics topics. See the list below to view each one.

Course previews

View: Optics of the Human Eye

In this webinar, Vasudevan Lakshminarayan of the University of Waterloo provides an introduction to his full SPIE course, Optics of the Eye for Engineers (SC1330), which covers various aspects of the eye as an optical system, information critical to the optical engineer working in areas such as VR, displays, etc.

View: Polarized Light and Optical Systems

In this webinar, Russell Chipman of Meta provides an introduction to his full SPIE course, Polarized Light and Optical Design (SC1247), which surveys polarization effects in optical systems and their simulation by polarization ray tracing.

View: Introduction to Optomechanical Design

In this webinar, Daniel Vukobratovich, Senior Principal Multi-Disciplinary Engineer at Raytheon Systems, provides an introduction to his full SPIE course, Introduction to Optomechanical Design (SC014), which provides the training needed to work with the mechanical features of optical systems, with an emphasis on methods for rapid estimation of optomechanical system performance.

View: Putting the Practical in Optical System Design

Optical system design, specification, layout, and engineering remain critical to the global technical community. We outline a practical approach to optical system design to maximize your success.

In this webinar, Richard Youngworth, Founder and Chief Engineer of Riyo LLC, and Craig Olson, Engineering Fellow for Imaging and Optical Systems at L3 Harris, provide an introduction to their full SPIE course, Practical Optical System Design (SC003). 

View: Optical Testing for Ground Space Telescopes

Next generation astronomical telescopes enable new discoveries and deeper scientific understanding of our universe. This webinar discusses high dynamic range optical testing technologies to guide and evaluate precision optics manufacturing process.

With this webinar, Daewook Kim, Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona, provides an introduction to his full SPIE course, Introduction to Interferometric Optical Testing (SC213). Content is also relvent to the SPIE course Modern Optical Tesing (SC212). 

View: An Overview of Systems Engineering for Astronomy

Jon Arenberg of Northrop Grumman and Paul Lightsey of Ball Aerospace are both chief engineers at NASA's James Webb Telescope, and in this webinar they provide an overview of systems engineering for astronomical systems.

This webinar also serves as a brief overview of their full SPIE course, Systems Engineering and Large Telescope Observatories (SC1139). 

View: Introduction to Optical Alignment Techniques

This webinar introduces the equipment, techniques, tricks, and skills necessary to align optical systems and devices. You learn to identify errors in an optical system, and how to align lens systems.

Kenneth Castle, Sr. Optical Engineer of Ruda-Cardinal, Inc., provides an overview of his full course, Introduction to Optical Alignment Techniques (SC010).

View: How to Make Cost-Effective Optical Components

In this webinar, Jessica DeGroote Nelson Senior Director of Optical Product Development, Edmond Optics briefly reviews how lenses are made. She touches upon common optical drawing specifications and tolerances, and how they lead to making more cost effective optical components.

Watch the webinar as an introduction to Jessica's full SPIE course, Optical Materials, Fabrication and Testing for the Optical Engineer (SC1086).

View: Fundamentals of Optical Manufacturing

To fashion precision optical elements in a successful business, we need to understand the materials, machinery, processes, and practical issues involved. We offer a survey of the topics covered in detail in the SPIE course SC1169.

Ray Williamson, Consulting Engineer, Ray Williamson Consulting, provides an introduction to his full  SPIE course, Optical Manufacturing Fundamentals (SC1169).

Professional development opportunities

Professional development workshops and events are free with event registration! While you are attending Optics + Photonics to enhance your technical skills, add a professional development workshop to your schedule to brush up on your soft skills.

Professional development workshop topics include:

  • Time and Project Management
  • Strategic Planning for Your Career
  • What It Means to be a Leader
  • Plus speed mentoring, Lunch and Learns, and more.

Discounts and more information

15% off for SPIE Regular Members
50% off for SPIE Student Members

For more information:



Courses are subject to cancellation due to insufficient registration or instructor availability. In the event of a cancellation, SPIE will contact attendees via email.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) for courses

  • Check-in at registration
  • Receive badge and tickets
  • Go to Course Materials Desk*
  • Scan badge, exchange course ticket(s) for printed course materials* and receive location of course

*As a courtesy to the instructor and other attendees, please arrive to the course no later than the posted start time. Course materials can be picked up any time before the scheduled date and time of your course, but it is a good idea to pick them up at least 15-30 minutes prior.

*Printed course materials will act as a "ticket" to enter the course room. Do not go directly to the classroom without picking up your materials first.

Course room locations are provided onsite when you collect your course materials. Locations vary and courses may be held in a different location than the conferences. We recommend coming to the desk at least 15-30 minutes prior to the start of the class to give yourself time to collect your materials and walk to your classroom.

Yes. Most people collect materials for multiple courses at the same time.

There is a $75 USD service charge for processing refunds. Requests for refunds must be received by 10 August 2023; all registration fees will be forfeited after this date.

Yes, you may register for courses onsite. However, we recommend registering for courses early to ensure a seat. Courses without sufficient registration two weeks prior to the event are subject to cancellation.

There are no wait lists for courses. We recommend registering early to ensure a seat.

Course registrations include a printed copy of the course materials. Some courses may include textbooks. Check the course descriptions for more information.

If a course is cancelled, you will be contacted by SPIE staff via email.

SPIE awards digital badges and certificates to participants who attend courses and complete the evaluation and quiz. Certificates will be sent via email to attendees approximately 8 weeks after the conference has ended.

To receive a digital credential you must:

  • Be present for the entire course
  • Complete course quiz
  • Fill out course evaluation
  • Fill in your contact information in the space provided
  • Drop completed quiz and evaluation forms in the Course Evaluation Box in the course room or return to the Course Materials desk

More information about digital credentials can be found at SPIE Badges and Certificates.

No, the in-person courses will not be recorded.

There will not be an option to attend an in-person course virtually.

Some courses are available as pre-recorded, on-demand, online. To see our full list of available online courses and to learn more, visit SPIE Online Courses.