The UNSW Optics and Radiometry Laboratory (ORLAB) is a testing, calibration and research facility within the School of Optometry & Vision Science. ORLAB is accredited by NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities) and provides services both locally and internationally to industry, government organisations and universities in light, colour and optical testing. The testing is carried out to meet specific standards (Australian and international) and includes eye and face protection, building products (pavers and tiles for solar reflectance) and lighting products (including those associated with transport, such as traffic signalling and warning signs). 

ORLAB participated in interlaboratory comparisons for colour, gloss, and haze measurement as part of its NATA accreditation process. This year we have had onsite visits by NATA auditors as part of maintaining our accreditation. Not only were our quality assurance processes examined (similar to ISO 9001 requirements) but also external technical assessors came to witness testing and talk to the technical report signatories. Our experts answered the somewhat tricky questions with aplomb.

This year, we have now been listed in the Western Parkland City Authority Directory of NSW Testing Facilities: Building & Construction (for work related to specular reflectance of roof tiles and similar products).

Another highlight during the year was that UNSW acted as the co-host CIE Australia Lighting Research Conference, 2022, held on 8th February 2022, albeit virtually.

Staff contributed to the development of Australian and International Standards, including:

  • SF006 WG12- Development of Australian and ISO Eye and Face Protection for biological hazards

  • SF006- Modified adoptions of ISO standards as Australian Standards

  • ISO TC 94/SC6 Eye and Face Protection

  • ISO/TC 172/SC 7/WG 6- Optical coherence tomographs — Part 1: OCT for the posterior segment of the human eye

New resources acquired during the year included: 

  • OL 459 Tunable LED Standard 

  • Haze meter: 4797 haze-gard i Pro 

The Haze meter and the OL459 Tunable LED Standard will bring ORLAB into the 21st century with the latest testing equipment. This will set ORLAB up to continue to be the leading testing facility for eye and face protection in Australia. 

Staff meetings continue to be held online and occasionally in hybrid format, however once a week, we now have an “anchor day” where all staff try to be in the office or relevant lab on the same day. It is great to see the “old band” back together again (misquote from the Blues Brothers).

Where are we? We’re in the lowest level of the Old Main Building, where we’ve been for many years. Separate from the School, yet very much still part of it. Anyone is welcome to drop by, but maybe we can arrange formal tours again next year. 

The volume of work during 2022 increased from 2021 and we look forward to the year to come.

Dr Maitreyee Roy

ORLAB Director