Purdue to host Microelectronics and Advanced Packaging Workforce Development workshop on Friday, Nov. 12

WEST LAFAYETTE — Purdue University, a national leader in microelectronics research and workforce development, will host a workshop to discuss challenges and opportunities related to the future of microelectronics and advanced packaging in the U.S.

Purdue’s own recent investments in secure microelectronics are furthering the university’s efforts to advance research and develop tomorrow’s workforce. Purdue students train in the Birck Nanotechnology Center nanofabrication cleanroom – the Scifres Nanofabrication Laboratory. (Photo provided)

Representatives from industry, academia, and state and federal government will address ways to scale workforce development programs for graduates, training programs for technicians, and special programs for trusted and assured electronics. The Microelectronics and Advanced Packaging Workforce Development workshop will be a virtual event on Friday (Nov. 12) and is open to the research, business, and academic communities with interest in the topics.

“In the next decade, we will need 100,000 workers to meet the needs of the microelectronics industry in the U.S.,” said Mung Chiang, Purdue’s executive vice president for special initiatives and the John A. Edwardson Dean, College of Engineering. “Purdue is convening stakeholders across industry, government, and academia to meet this critical need and deliver excellence at scale. We are enhancing existing programs such as internships and hands-on training in state-of-the-art facilities, and we are also adding new tools such as semiconductor degrees and the Department of Defense SCALE workforce program to support the U.S. as a leader in microelectronics design, manufacturing, and packaging.”

Chiang said now is the right time to bring semiconductor workforce development into the limelight, given current global trends in microelectronics, the need to ramp up production in the U.S., and proposed funding by the current administration under the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act.

Purdue’s own recent investments in secure microelectronics are furthering the university’s efforts to advance research and develop tomorrow’s workforce. Secure microelectronics is a critical area under two pillars of Purdue’s Next Moves, recently announced strategic initiatives aimed at advancing the university’s competitive advantage.

The workshop will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Friday (Nov. 12). Academic and industry leaders will moderate the workshop. Moderators are William Chappell, chief technology officer, Azure Global – Microsoft; Theresa Mayer, executive vice president for research and partnerships, Purdue University; and Stephen Goodnick, professor, deputy director of ASU Lightworks, Arizona State University. Panelists from industries such as AMD, Micron Technology, MITRE, Synopsis, Semiconductor Research Corporation, and SkyWater Technologies, will be joined by representatives from the U.S. departments of Commerce and Defense, the National Science Foundation, and academia. An emphasis will be placed on specifics of workforce development programs for commercial and defense and security applications.

Preparing a massive workforce in an advanced industry is a complex problem that requires concerted, sustained effort from all stakeholders, Chiang said. The U.S. uses about 50% of global chip production, but manufacturers use only 12%. The U.S. is gearing up with new manufacturing facilities and capital investments to address this issue, but that is only half of the solution.

The human capital requires an equally robust investment, Chiang said.

“Training programs for microelectronics need to cover everything from basic manufacturing skills to sophisticated design of chips for cutting-edge applications,” he said. “This is a matter of national security and also regaining our global position as a manufacturing leader.”

This workshop aims to set the stage for continuous dialogue and collaboration among key players to ensure the most efficient use of resources is applied to a winning strategy.

Current list of panelists and program are available online.