Susy Webb: The History and Future of the Designers Council


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When we started planning this issue on the IPC Designers Council, I knew I’d have to speak with design instructor Susy Webb, a longtime DC member and currently an executive board officer. I asked Susy to discuss how she first got involved with the DC, why designers should join their local chapter, and what the future holds for this group.

Andy Shaughnessy: Tell us how you first became involved with the IPC Designers Council. Why did you decide to get involved with the DC?

Susy Webb: Houston had already started a chapter of the IPC Designers Council when I got involved. I joined because I always had the desire to learn more about the PCB design profession and getting together with other people who felt the same was very enticing. When I happened to mention in a meeting that we should bring in speakers to teach us all, they appointed me to that task! It became a real growing experience for me.

Shaughnessy: What were the early DC meetings like?

Webb: What the early meetings lacked in knowledge, they definitely had in passion! People understood changes were coming to the designing of boards because of the new high-speed and signal integrity issues, and they were hungry to learn about them. Our first out-of-town speaker was Rick Hartley, and we had over 100 people come out in the middle of a tropical storm to learn from him.

Shaughnessy: What are some of the benefits a designer can gain by joining the DC? I know that IPC stopped charging $50 to join because so many designers said they couldn’t afford to spend that much to network and help advance their careers.

Webb: There have always been some fairly good benefits. In the earlier days, one could attend IPC functions for a discount or ask questions of industry experts on the DC forums. More recently, the benefits include classes brought to the local area by the chapter, meeting discussions on timely topics with others sharing experiences, and making friendships that carry over into other parts of our daily lives.

Shaughnessy: You’re on the executive board for the Designers Council. What exactly does the board do?

Webb: The executive board as a group is the advocate for the DC to IPC in general. We encourage chapter organization and participation, brainstorm ways to encourage new designers to get into the industry, give our thoughts to IPC about issues important to designers, discuss ways to enrich CID and CID+ courses, and most recently, we will be reporting through the industry’s design magazines what other chapters are doing and what classes are available so that all might use those same ideas.

To read this entire interview, which appeared in the December 2018 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.

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