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PCC's Microelectronics Program Receives NSF Grant
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Microelectronics Technology Program at Portland Community College has received a three-year, $649,815 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education Program. The grant will fund a plasma-aided manufacturing course to train students in the semiconductor, manufacturing and related fields. The project aims to develop technician-level materials in plasma processing, create a processing laboratory at PCC, and train community faculty from across the country through workshops.Plasmas are conductive collections of charged particles that carry electrical currents and generate magnetic fields. The technology can be used in transformers, switches, electronics, semiconductors, lighting sources and lasers to name a few."This project will provide the time and resources to address these deficiencies and put PCC in a leadership role in plasma-aided manufacturing education at the community college level,"said David Hata, PCC microelectronics instructor and the project’s director. "Currently, there are no technician-level textbooks on the market and no plasma training systems that we can purchase to equip a teaching laboratory."Hata has worked hard to assemble a cadre of experts in plasma-aided manufacturing to help develop the project. The co-principal investigator is Ken Cadien, director of innovative technology at Intel Corporation. The project’s national visiting committee includes: Charles May, LSI Logic; David Smith, Novellus; John Coburn, University of California at Berkeley; Don Mattox, Society of Vacuum Coaters; Ken Kaiser, Intel Corporation; Gowri Kota, Lam Research; and George Timblin, former dean at Central Piedmont Community College.In addition, the project will involve content experts in plasma-aided manufacturing from Albuquerque TVI, Weatherford College, University of New Mexico, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and companies that manufacture equipment for the semiconductor industry. The Microelectronics Technology program is located in Washington County at the Capital Center at N.W. 185th and Walker Road, and at the Rock Creek Campus, 17705 N.W. Springville Road. The program awards two-year associate degrees and prepares students for the semiconductor industry. For more information, contact David Hata at 503-533-2929.