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Photonics group honors trio of optics leaders

Three optics professionals recently were honored by the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster/New York Photonics for their contributions to New York’s optics and photonics industry.

Michael Pavia, co-founder and president of Sydor Instruments LLC, received the 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He was recognized for demonstrating creativity, innovative spirit and drive in pursuit 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 United Kingdom-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 School of Business.

Jay Eastman, founder and CEO of Optel Inc., received the 2014 Leadership award. Eastman was recognized for working 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.

Stephen Jacobs received the Education Award. He is a professor of Materials Science, professor of Optics, Chemical Engineering, and senior scientist at UR’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics. Jacobs was recognized for inspiring students to embrace optics, photonics and imaging sciences and guiding them in career development. He developed the Optics Suitcase educational initiative, designed to introduce middle school age students to the range of concepts within the study of light.

The awards were presented at the organization’s annual meeting this month.

At the meeting, a special presentation was made to Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Perinton, in honor of her late husband, Robert Slaughter. The RRPC donated $2,500 in his name to the Dr. Walter Cooper Academy Fund of the Rochester Education Foundation. The funds are to be used to purchase books for students at Rochester City School District.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.

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