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Michael Fiddy spends his days thinking about light, and about how those thoughts could mean more jobs for Charlotte and growth for UNC Charlotte.
Fiddy is director of UNCC's Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Science. He's also been one of the key players in marrying UNCC's program with others at Clemson University and Western Carolina University to create a consortium called the Carolinas MicroOptics Triangle.
Today, that consortium of schools will introduce itself to the world with a conference on UNCC's campus. Fiddy hopes regional optics companies will check out the researchers and facilities of the three schools, and start tapping the school's labs and researchers.
He talked with the Observer about the program, its goals and why the public should care. Questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.
Q. Why should a non-scientist care about something with such an unwieldy name as optoelectronics?