Optical Engineering

By Prof. Shanti Bhattacharya   |   IIT Madras
Learners enrolled: 72
Optics is used in many applications today. In fact, the field of optics has quietly gone from the research table to being used in numerous applications ranging from devices to metrology. Opto-electronics and metrology are already well-developed fields merging the areas of optics and a variety of other engineering areas (such as electronics, mechanical engineering, etc) in many advanced and commonly used devices. For an engineering student to be able to understand and design optics for such applications, it is important to understand some basic optics. This course will introduce these concepts at a level relevant for an engineer.  The course will start by looking at Geometric optics, before moving on to Gaussian optics and then wave optics. The course will also study specific engineering examples with a detailed look at the optics of these.  A lab will be run along with the course. In the first part, an optical design software called Optics Software for Layout and Optimization (OSLO) will be used. The ideas and concepts of geometric optics will be developed through a series of exercises involving OSLO. Concepts on wave optics will be demonstrated through exercises involving either Python or Matlab.

INTENDED AUDIENCE : Third or Final year BE/BTech, First year ME/MTech/MS/PhD 
PRE- REQUISITES : Electromagnetics 
INDUSTRY SUPPORT : Holmarc, NeST Photonics, Appasamy Assoicates, LV Prasad Eye Institute , ISRO, DRDO
Course Status : Upcoming
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 23 Jan 2023
End Date : 14 Apr 2023
Exam Date : 29 Apr 2023 IST
Enrollment Ends : 30 Jan 2023
Category :
  • Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1 : Introduction to Optical Engineering Postulates of Geometric Optics Geometric Optics and Imaging, Refraction at a single surface 
Week 2 : Thin lens, Lens imaging conditions, Aperture stop, pupils, important rays 
Lab: Introduction to Optics Software for Layout and Optimization (OSLO). Case study: Snells Law
Week 3 : Ray tracing using matrix method, Thick lenses, principal planes 
Lab: OSLO - Designing a lens with specific focal length.
Week 4 : Monochromatic Aberrations, means of quantifying aberrations
Lab: OSLO - Locating the cardinal points of an optical system
Week 5 : Chromatic Aberrations, correcting aberrations
Lab: OSLO - Aberration Optimisation, Part 1
Week 6 : Gaussian beams, transmittance of an optical element
Lab: OSLO- Aberration Optimisation, Part 2
Week 7 : Gaussian beam transformation through a lens
Lab OSLO -Exploring different kinds of coordinate systems in OSLO
Week 8 : Basics of Interference 
Week 9 : Applications of Interference, holography
Lab: (Matlab or Python) - Introduction
Week 10 : Basics of diffraction
Lab: (Matlab or Python) – Studying interference through simulations
Week 11 : Applications - Barcode readers,Finger print sensors,Pick-up heads used in DVD/CD players,Biomedical 
 instrumentation Interferometers for metrology (Optical coherence tomography)Sensors 
Week 12 : Applications - Barcode readers,Finger print sensors,Pick-up heads used in DVD/CD players,Biomedical 
 instrumentation Interferometers for metrology (Optical coherence tomography)Sensors

Thanks to the support from MathWorks, enrolled students have access to MATLAB for the duration of the course.

The course will use the educational version of the optical design tool OSLO EDU, available free for students from https://www.lambdares.com/edu/

Books and references

• Optics by A. Ghatak 
• Modern Optical Engineering by Warren J. Smith 
• Optics for Engineers by C.A. DiMarzio 
• Fundamentals of Photonics by Saleh and Teich 
• Introduction to Fourier Optics by J.W.Goodman

Instructor bio

Prof. Shanti Bhattacharya

IIT Madras
Shanti Bhattacharya obtained her Ph.D. in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1997. Her doctoral work was in the area of Optical Array Illuminators. After completing her Ph.D., she worked at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, first as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow and then as a Guest Scientist. Her research work there included development of an optical pick-up for CD/DVD systems and the design of diffractive optical elements for beam shaping of high power laser beams. She subsequently joined the MEMS division of Analog Devices, Cambridge, USA, where she worked on the design of an optical MEMS switch. She is currently a Professor and has been with the Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras since 2005. Her current research interests are diffractive optics, optical MEMS and the development of measurement and imaging techniques using interferometry. She has co-authored over 100 conference and journal publications, as well as one book titled, Design and Fabrication of Diffractive Optical Elements with MATLAB. She has successfully executed or is currently investigating a number of research projects with funding worth over Rs 955 lakhs (USD 1.33M). In addition to her work, she is an enthusiastic hiker and enjoys many outdoor activities.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 
29 April 2023 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

MHRD logo Swayam logo


Goto google play store