From Spain to Austria: A Student’s Drive to Be a Professor


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The AltiumLive event in Munich drew several hundred PCB designers from around Europe, including engineering students interested in PCB design. I spoke with Pablo Sanchez Martinez, a student at FH Joanneum in Austria who is working toward being a full professor in hardware design. Pablo discussed his studies in engineering and PCB design, the classes he’s teaching, and his plans for teaching the young engineers of the future.

Andy Shaughnessy: How are you doing, Pablo?

Pablo Sanchez Martinez: Hello, Andy. I’m great. Nice to meet you.

Shaughnessy: Nice to meet you too. I understand that you’re a university student. Can you tell us a little about yourself and what brings you to AltiumLive in Munich?

Martinez: I’m originally from Spain but have been working for three years at FH Joanneum, a university located in Austria. I normally do power electronics. I work in a research center at the university, and we have a lot of products based on power electronics, power converters, transistors, etc.

Shaughnessy: Are you working toward being a full-time professor?

Martinez: Yes, until now, I’ve been mainly teaching and doing research, but I would like to become a professor. I am also striving towards getting a Ph.D. and I am using all of this experience that I am gaining through the years with research projects to prepare for my teaching courses.

Shaughnessy: And what is your original degree?

Martinez: I studied industrial engineering in Spain, and I did my master’s thesis at FH Joanneum, which is how I got to know the research center.

Shaughnessy: And I’m guessing you use Altium tools?

Martinez: Yes. Altium is very important to us. We do high-powered converters. For example, we need to control the clearance and printed requirements in these power devices. In Altium, having a set of design rules with everything you can control is very useful for us. My whole work is based on Altium.

Shaughnessy: What classes are you teaching at the university?

Martinez: I’m teaching practical courses on Altium, actually. I’m teaching how to design PCB circuits as well as some courses and labs on power electronics, including semiconductor packaging.

To read this entire column, which appeared in the March 2019 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.

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