CREOL "The Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers" is the larger of four research centers within The College of Optics and
Photonics, and is the foundational element of the College. Originally named "The Center for Research in Electro-Optics and Lasers", the
name was later changed replacing Electro-optics with Education to better identify with the Center's goals of providing a well trained work
force to the local industry. The establishment of CREOL was a result of a recommendation by the Florida High Technology and Industry Council
(FHTIC), formed by then Florida Governor Bob Graham to lead the definition of what industries should be emphasized to build the
state's high-tech economy. The University Board of Regents approved such establishment of an optics center in 1985, and in 1986, the Florida
legislature acted to provide $1.5M of permanent, recurring funds to the University of Central Florida (UCF) budget to support CREOL. It is this
second milestone that has been chosen as the founding date of CREOL, even though the first Director, Dr. MJ Soileau, and
other founding faculty and students, would not arrive until early in 1987.
With an unwavering commitment to excellence in people " faculty and students " research, education, and partnership with industry, CREOL
developed rapidly, enabling the establishment of the School of Optics in 1998 when the first graduate degrees in Optics were awarded by UCF (from
1986 to 1998 CREOL graduates had their degrees awarded in Optical Science and Engineering). With continued success, the promotion to a
full college came in 2004 "The College of Optics and Photonics" with the distinction of being the first full college in optics and
photonics in the nation. A more complete history of CREOL's development can be found here.
Today, CREOL is an internationally recognized center of excellence for research in a wide range of optics and photonics technologies. Its
founding values of excellence in research and education, and unwavering commitment to effective partnerships continue to guide its future.