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Breault Research Organization Supports Optics Research, Teaching at UC Merced

May 31, 2005

MERCED - The University of California, Merced, has received a
major donation from an Arizona software company that will assist
with research and facilitate teaching students at all levels in the
field of non-imaging optics. Breault Research Organization (BRO)
has given the university a donation package worth more than half a
million dollars.

Professor Roland Winston and other UC Merced personnel will use
the BRO gift to support their research and teaching in the field of
non-imaging optics, a discipline that underlies some of the most
useful new designs in solar energy, among other applications.

“BRO is one of the industry leaders that is enabling companies
to envision, design and test complex optical systems,” Winston
said. “Dr. Robert P. Breault, the president and founder of the
company, is an early adopter of non-imaging optics. His vision and
leadership has been an inspiration to the industry. The company’s
gift will enable us both to continue pressing forward in
non-imaging optics research and to prepare our students to work on
industrial applications of non-imaging optics.”

Jeff Wright, dean of the School of Engineering and director of
the Energy Center at UC Merced, agreed. “Roland Winston’s research
group is at the forefront of nonimaging optics and advanced solar
concentration analysis,” he said. “With the tools provided by BRO’s
generous gifts, they will continue their research leadership in
this increasingly important field and proceed to design additional
useful applications to benefit our communities. Most important,
they are educating top students at UC Merced to accomplish even
more in decades to come.”

BRO’s Advanced Systems Analysis Program software, widely known
in the optical engineering industry, is a high-level modeling
program for physical optics, imaging, and illumination systems. It
helps engineers to design solar collectors, medical optics devices,
optical environmental sensors, and more, and then test their
designs in computer simulations and analyze the results of their
tests. Its highly specialized and advanced functions make it a
useful tool for advanced engineering education in optics.

“The optics industry needs outstanding research of the quality
we see from Roland Winston. We also need prepared workers to
implement that research into useful solutions,” said BRO CEO
Kathleen Perkins. “We’re pleased to open the opportunity for UC
Merced students to become familiar with the tools they will likely
use throughout their engineering careers.”

BRO has also provided on-site training for users of the software
at UC Merced. One of the company’s top optical engineers, Jon
Herlocker, Ph.D. visited Merced in early May to train Winston and
other users. The training aspect of the gift will allow students
and faculty members here to get up and running with the software in
the university’s first official year of operation, beginning in
Fall 2005.