The Micron Technology Foundation named Virginia Tech a Partner University and established a scholarship program in microelectronics at Tech. The Foundation is a non-profit organization established by Micron Technology, Inc. to advance science and technology education. Micron Technology, Inc., with corporate headquarters in Boise, Idaho, is a global producer of memory chips, electronic components and devices.
Tech is Micron's only partner school in the Eastern United States, with other partner universities located in the Mountain West, Southwest, and Midwest. “This is recognition of Tech’s establishment of an interdepartmental microelectronics program and a great way for Micron to assist the program and establish a connection with Tech”, said Stewart Ocheltree, a process engineering manager at Micron’s Manassas facility. Mr. Ocheltree is a member of the department’s Advisory Board and assisted in forging the partner relationship.
The Micron Scholars program was established to encourage outstanding students at Tech to enter the microelectronics industry. Scholars are to be selected in the spring of their sophomore year and will receive $5,000 per year for their remaining junior and senior years of study. The award can be renewed for a third year with approval. Scholars will also have opportunities to apply for summer intern positions and co-ops at the Micron plants, including the facility in Manassas, Virginia.
Students majoring in electrical engineering, computer engineering, chemical engineering, or materials science and engineering and participating in the university's new microelectronics engineering minor are eligible to apply for the scholarship. Scholars are selected on their academic achievement and leadership ability. Applications include an essay and finalists are invited for a personal interview with the selection committee.
Virginia Tech has a long history of interaction with the Micron facility in Manassas where many alumni have been employed and undergraduates have served as co-op and intern students. Robert Hendricks, chair of the Micron Scholars Selection Committee, noted, “the microelectronics faculty members at Virginia Tech are delighted that this excellent and long-standing relationship is now being formalized by naming Tech as a Micron Partner University. As a result, even greater interaction between Tech faculty and students and researchers and production personnel within the Micron organization should evolve and provide even more opportunities for our students.”
Micron Scholars for the 2003/2004 academic year include four junior ECE students and one MSE student: Heath Conyers (CPE), Ka Ming Lai (EE), David Mo (CPE), Julie Morris (EE), and Robert Mitchell (MSE).
Other Micron Partner Universities include Boise State University, Brigham Young University, Iowa State University, Montana Tech, Northern Arizona University, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Montana State University, the University of Idaho, the University of Utah, and Utah State University.