Another Wavelength: Paige Sawyers

    Date Posted: 
    Monday, May 4, 2020

    This month in Another Wavelength, we chat with B.S. Student Paige Sawyers. Paige is currently mentored by Jim Schwiegerling.

    Where are you from? 

    I grew up in Gilbert, AZ.

    What brought you to study optics? 

    In my second grade Advanced Learning Program class, we spent the year studying optics and I had to build a model telescope as an independent project. I was considering either biomedical engineering or optometry when I attended the UA’s summer engineering academy and found out that optical engineering was an option and it was the perfect amalgamation of my love of math and interest in human vision.

    Who is your hero in science? 

    I think it is difficult for me to select a single individual who is my hero in science since science is such a collaborative field, and all scientists build off the discoveries of those who came before them. I hold a special respect for the first women in science and engineering since they withstood prejudice and skepticism regarding their abilities and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

    Describe your research in 20 words or fewer. 

    My research focuses on studying the differences and characteristics of intra-ocular lenses (IOLs) using a model eye.

    Describe your research in 200 words or fewer. 

    Currently, I am working on renovating our lab’s eye model to contain a more efficient LED light source. Previously, I studied the difference in the depth of focus and efficiency of monofocal, multifocal, and extended depth of focus (EDOF) intra-ocular lenses using the eye model. I did this by capturing images of each lens in a range of powers, as well as in tilted and decentered positions, to be used in creating a point spread function and modulus transfer function.

    In addition to the work I completed in Dr. Schwiegerling’s lab, last summer I worked for Baush & Lomb using wavefront sensing to study the location and magnitude of aberrations (specifically coma and astigmatism) on rejected monofocal IOLs. On top of developing an Engineering Report for my project, I calibrated machinery in the R&D lab.

    Name three neat facts about you. 

    1. During my summer internship at Baush & Lomb in Florida, I learned how to paddleboard (during a storm!)
    2. I taught myself how to crochet, so let me know if you need a scarf or afghan.
    3. I’m a huge hockey fan. Go Arizona Coyotes!