Optics and Radiometry Laboratory (ORLAB) Update

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). 

As the year draws to a close, we are delighted to share the exciting developments and achievements at the Optics and Radiometry Laboratory.

Continued NATA Accreditation: We are delighted to announce that following a recent reassessment by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA), ORLAB's accreditation has been continued. This recognition reaffirms our commitment to excellence in testing, calibration, and research in the field of optics and radiometry. 

CIE Australia Lighting Research Conference: ORLAB proudly co-hosted the CIE Australia Lighting Research Conference on 7 February, 2023. Building on the success of the virtual conference in 2022, the event fostered valuable connections and friendships. Additionally, in August, we celebrated CIE Australia's 75th Anniversary in conjunction with the CIE Australia Research Students’ Workshop, further strengthening our ties within the research community.

UNSW Laboratory Research & Services Expo: ORLAB was honoured to participate twice in the UNSW Laboratory Research & Services Expo. Our stall was rated the second most visited, reflecting the high interest in our testing and calibration services.

Contributions to Standards Development: We played a pivotal role in the development of Australian and International Standards, including projects such as SF006 WG12 for Eye and Face Protection for biological hazards, ISO TC 94/SC6 for Eye and Face Protection and ISO-1-16971-1 standard for Ophthalmic instruments Optical coherence tomographs — Part 1: Optical coherence tomographs for the posterior segment of the human eye. These contributions emphasise our commitment to advancing industry standards.

New Resources Acquisition: During the year, ORLAB enhanced its capabilities with the acquisition of a larger Ultraviolet radiation testing chamber and two slightly different handheld spectrometers. In addition, ORLAB acquired a Cary 60 UV-vis spectrophotometer with software designed to compute transmittance parameters for diverse sunglass standards, including the Australian Standards. These additions reinforce our position as the leading testing facility for eye and face protection in Australia.

Staff Updates: During 2023 our team has adapted to a hybrid work model. Staff meetings are now held in person, with a designated "anchor day" fostering collaboration and synergy. This year we farewelled longstanding member of staff, Muhammad Kaleem, who played a crucial role in our lighting testing as well as calibration work for many years. We wish him all the best with his new role.

Distinguished Visitors: The year concluded with a visit from Professor Rajiv Raman (Senior Vitreoretinal Consultant at Sankara Nethralaya in Chennai, India and a Visiting Professor at the Vision and Eye Research Unit, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge), who not only showed a keen interest in our work but also provided valuable insights through pertinent comments in vision related issues. Such interactions contribute to the continuous growth and refinement of our endeavours.

As we reflect on the past year, we express our gratitude to the entire School of Optometry & Vision Science and UNSW community for their unwavering support. 

The volume of work this year has increased, marking a resilient journey of growth and accomplishment. We look forward to another year of innovation, collaboration, and excellence in the field of optics and radiometry.

Where are we you ask? We’re still 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, we invite you to drop by and have a tour of our facilities. 

Associate Professor Maitreyee Roy

ORLAB Director