From the Department Head
At Virginia Tech and throughout
the world, microelectronics technology is advancing through work
in many disciplines, including electrical and computer engineering,
materials science, chemical engineering, industrial and systems
engineering, and physics.
Engineers and researchers in microelectronics find that they
are working with collaborators from many other fields and backgrounds.
Often, the boundaries between disciplines are blurred.
With this in mind, and in support of the growing microelectronics
industry in Virginia, the department is collaborating with MSE,
ISE, physics, and chemical engineering to expand Virginia Tech's
microelectronics education and research programs. We are building
what we expect will quickly become one of the country's top microelectronics
Our comprehensive education and research program includes a diverse
curriculum and vibrant research efforts that cross departmental
and disciplinary boundaries. The enhanced curriculum is designed
to lead interested students from several different disciplines
into a concentration in microelectronics - and to include a significant
level of undergraduate research.
All of our electrical and computer engineering students will
gain experience in semiconductor processing and device characterization.
Moreover, enhanced facilities and opportunities for our advanced
undergraduate and graduate students capitalize on the diversity
of our faculty and soon will include state-of-the-art processing
and characterization equipment.
As described on page four, we are in the process of building
new laboratories and clean rooms to support this effort. We are
also adding strong, motivated faculty members to our program.
This summer, Louis Guido, an expert in semiconductor materials
and optoelectronic physics, joined the ECpE and MSE departments,
and Stephane Evoy, a specialist in nano-electromechanical systems
will soon join us. We are seeking several more new faculty members
to complement our existing efforts.
Much of this is made possible by equipment gifts from Motorola,
State funds through the Virginia Microelectronics Consortium
for Education and Research (VMEC), and additional funds from
Motorola and the Pratt Foundation. We are also seeking additional
facility and operations funds from other sources.
We are building on a very solid base. Virginia Tech already has
in place more than $10 million in processing and materials characterization
equipment and a very strong reputation built by our 14 faculty
members who work in a broad range of areas. Their collaborative
spirit energizes this new effort.
In addition, friends and alumni in industry are very supportive
of the microelectronics program and have formed an advisory board
to help guide and assist our efforts. Bob Hendricks and Rick
Claus, who both hold joint appointments with ECpE and MSE have
spearheaded the microelectronics task force.
We look forward to the new opportunities that we will be able
to provide for our students, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and
the field of microelectronics.