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Optimax celebrates 30 years of excellence in the optics industry



Rochester, New York — With 30 years of experience in the optics industry, Optimax’s products are part of a cutting-edge technology revolution.

President Joe Spilman discussed the company’s growth and expertise Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.

“This is an exciting time at Optimax,” Spilman said. “Earlier this year we celebrated our 30th anniversary and along with that milestone, we are celebrating a tremendous amount of growth and success. We manufacture optics that are used in some of the most demanding photonics applications. For Optimax to work at that leading edge of technology and to do it successfully for years requires that we continuously push ourselves forward and change as a company to stay ahead of rapidly evolving technologies and markets. That’s really the key to our growth.”

During the summer, Spilman took over as the President at Optimax.

“I am new to this position and me taking on this role is symbolic of the leadership passing from the generation that built Optimax from the ground up to our new leadership team that will carry us into the future,” he said. “This leadership team and all of us here share an ambitious vision for Optimax. We have grown significantly through the years but in many ways, we are just getting started. The technologies that will fuel our growth are diverse. Optics and photonics technologies are playing an increasingly significant role in our everyday lives from the lasers and sensors in Apple’s ‘Face ID’ used to unlock your iPhone to the backup cameras in your vehicles. There are thousands of examples. Optimax’s focus will be on high-end and advanced technologies, applications that require engineering, and problem-solving. A good example of these applications is our work in space and astronomy and in particular our support of NASA and its missions. We have been involved in every Rover NASA has sent to the surface of Mars. There are many photonics technologies on these Rovers – cameras for imaging things that have never been seen before by humans to instruments that collect rocks from the surface of Mars and fire ultraviolet lasers at them to better understand what they’re made of and if there are any signs of past life. And in recent years a focus for NASA is searching for Earth-like planets, planets that could potentially support life as we know it.”

According to Spilman, Optimax’s home in the Rochester region is a perfect fit to fuel its continued growth.

“This is our home and we are proud to be from Rochester. Optimax and our other local optics companies carry Rochester’s flag out in the industry and we represent this community as one of the most important optics ecosystems in the world. That is not something that we take lightly and we are committed to strengthening the legacy of optics in Rochester. Aside from just being here, our network of local universities, colleges, and optics companies has created a workforce pipeline that is unmatched anywhere in the United States. Engineers of all relevant disciplines are graduating from RIT, the University of Rochester, and the SUNY system. Many of our technicians are educated through MCC’s Optics Program which is the only one of its kind anywhere in the United States. This optics workforce pipeline is a major reason why Optimax continues to invest in the Greater Rochester region. We have access to the top talent and education systems needed to develop our team and grow our business.”