Recent News

Discover Optimax

We are a world leader in high precision optical manufacturing, delivering custom optics to a wide range of innovators around the globe. Meeting these goals demands the right people. Teamwork, adaptability, and an enthusiastic approach to problem-solving are central to the Optimax culture. But what unites all our employees best is a hunger to continuously learn. We strive to find driven individuals who are committed to lifelong learning; who will continue to add value in their work throughout long and successful careers.



Mike Mandina


After starting two manufacturing businesses providing precision optics to photonics companies, Mike joined Optimax in 1991.



Mike has received numerous honors and awards over the years for his leadership and industry success, including finalist for Rochester’s Small business person of the year, NYS Business Hall of Fame inductee, Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster Entrepreneurship award, and the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) New York State Small Business Person of the Year award.

Yesterday, Rick and Mike received the Herbert W. Vanden Brul Entrepreneurial Award. This award is given out by RIT's Saunders College of Business to an individual or business that has …

Rick Plympton and Mike Mandina have been nominated as finalists for the Rochester Small Business Council Business Person of the Year Award.

The inaugural Technology and Manufacturing Awardscelebrated the best and brightest in Rochester’s diverse tech landscape. Taking home the award for executive of the year was Michael Mandina, President of Optimax …

Optimax President, Mike Mandina, was named a 2018 OSA Fellow. "For business leadership within the greater Rochester optics community and the U.S. and global optics industry, and technical leadership in [...]

In 2017 FAME celebrated its 10 year anniversary and Mike Mandina received special recognition for chairing the organization for 10 years.

Mike Mandina, president of Wayne County custom optics maker Optimax Systems Inc., will be among a number of business executives at the White House on Friday for a meeting regarding …

It was with a strong recommendation and a glowing recommendation that Mike and Optimax were selected as the recipient of this award for representing New York state at the national …

Optimax President, Mike Mandina, introduces Vice President Joe Biden at an MCC Career Event following the 2014 State of The Union about breaching the middle skills gap in the United …

It has been an exciting few weeks for Mike Mandina – spending time with  both Vice President Biden and President Obama to talk about the need for skills February, 20, …

The RRPC (Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster) Entrepreneur of The Year Award is given to a member who demonstrates creativity, innovation and drive in pursuit of creating a world-leading company in …

Mike Mandina, Optimax President, set out to develop a new process for rapid polishing of surfaces that had to be adaptable to uniformly sloped surfaces and those with non-uniform slopes, …



This paper briefly tells the story of the importance of metrology in optics fabrication at Optimax, and highlights Wyko and Jim Wyant’s contribution to early Optimax success.

As U.S. manufacturing works to overcome a technical skills gap, apprenticeships are gaining favor as a post-secondary educational path.

Freeform optical shapes or optical surfaces that are designed with non-symmetric features are gaining popularity. This enabling technology allows for conformal sensor windows and domes that provide enhanced aerodynamic properties.

Hard ceramic conformal windows and domes provide challenges to the optical fabricator. Creative optical fabrication techniques, including VIBE™, help produce these types of optics cost-effectively.

The VIBE™ process is a full-aperture, conformal polishing process that has the potential to be introduced in areas of today's modern optics manufacturing process.

Many changes have occurred in business strategies for precision optics manufacturing. The internalization of the photonics industry and the value derived from Rochester's regional photonics cluster are important insights. 

Total cost of a part is calculated over its entire lifespan. By investing in higher quality and reliability, total cost decreases as supporting costs become less necessary. 

Aluminum oxynitride (ALON™) spans from the UV to the IR and has excellent ballistic characteristics and is used to improve quality in manufacturing. 

As a result of placing in the top 20 of Inc. Magazine's and Winning Workplaces 2010 Top Small Company Workplaces Competition, Optimax was contacted by the Hitachi Foundation to participate …

The VIBE™ process is a full aperture, conformal polishing process incorporating high frequency and random motion designed to rapidly remove sub-surface damage in a VIBE pre-polish step and eliminate mid-spatial …

Historically, the R&D department and the optical manufacturing shop floor have been independent entities. Optimax has been able to integrate the two departments for faster deployment and practical utilization. 

The evolution of the manufacturing technology for a specific aspheric glass lens can provide significant image quality improvement, reduction of the number of lens elements, smaller size, and lower weight. 



  • Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster
  • NYS Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board
  • High Tech of Rochester’s Manufacturers Extension Partnership
  • FAME
  • MCC
  • WIRED: Finger Lakes Partnership Governing Board
  • Rochester Regional Economic Council’s Photonics Work Group


He holds associate degrees in optical engineering technology and engineering science from Monroe Community College and a bachelor’s degree in applied physics from Empire State College, as well as an Executive MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology.


Mike Mandina is a master optician and entrepreneur. Mike was instrumental in the development of FAME (Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturer’s Enterprise), a non-profit organization committed to workforce development.

Accessibility Toolbar