PCEA Expands in Its Sophomore Year

Reading time ( words)

I recently spoke with PCEA’s Scott McCurdy and Tomas Chester about the organization’s plans for its second year. They explained that they plan to add new chapters and members, especially younger engineers like Tomas. 

Andy Shaughnessy: How are you guys doing? For those who don’t know, Scott is the chapter liaison and chairman for PCEA, and Tomas is the founder of the PCEA chapter in Ontario, Canada.

Scott McCurdy: I’m doing great in this work-from-home environment.

Shaughnessy: Nice to meet you virtually, Tomas.

Tomas Chester: Nice to meet you, too, Andy. Working from home has been okay for me. I don't have to drive through four feet of snow to work every morning.


Shaughnessy: That alone makes it worthwhile. Scott, the PCEA is now in its second year. Give us an update on what you’ve been up to.

McCurdy: The PCEA (Printed Circuit Engineering Association) is an international network of engineers, designers, fabricators, assemblers, and anybody who is related to the printed circuit development world. We started in late 2019. It's a volunteer nonprofit organization. I got involved because I was one of the executive board members of the IPC Designers Council, and we were “orphaned.” That led to the birth of a new organization with a bunch of the chapters that had no place to go. We formed a new organization around that, and it's been great.

I was president of the Orange County chapter of the Designers Council for 17 years, so we transitioned into PCEA and then immediately had to start doing virtual meetings. This led us to find new members or having them find us. Many people may not live in an area where there is much electronics activity, yet they were still looking for a place to collaborate.

Our mission is to collaborate, inspire, and educate; that's what our meetings are all about. We try to bring in interesting topics and speakers, and then get a good-sized group of folks to share with. It’s been enlightening; it really has. We've grown quite a bit. I'm involved in the membership committee, so we're trying to help form these new chapters. And we've made alliances with other like-minded industry associations. We all promote each other for mutual benefit, which has been interesting.

Some of our people have been active in the standards committees at IPC and even leading some of the standards committee groups, so we all benefit from sharing information. We have a relationship with SMTA as well.

It’s a volunteer organization, so it’s all about getting new people to join. It was interesting that we came across Tomas in Canada, an area that we hadn't really paid a lot of attention to. I'm going to let him talk about how he drifted into our group and how much he's been able to accomplish since.

To read this entire interview, which appeared in the April 2021 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.



Suggested Items

Book Excerpt: 'The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to… High Performance Materials,' Chapter 2

06/03/2022 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
Chapter 2 of 'The Printed Circuit Designer’s Guide to… High Performance Materials' explores the varieties of woven glass fabrics and their components, and why spread glass is in such high demand for high-speed digital PCB designs. Download this book for a clearer picture of what to know when selecting which material that is most desirable for upcoming products, and obtain a solid knowledge base for making material selection decisions.

Altium Invests in Future Designers

04/13/2022 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
While at IPC APEX EXPO, I stopped by the Altium booth to visit with Rea Callender, vice president of education at Altium. Rea shared information about the company’s recent design competition for students around the world, as well as a new curriculum that is drawing interest from some unique locations.

Setting Goals for Your PCB Design Education

03/30/2022 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
For our March issue of Design007 Magazine on planning your design education, we spoke with Bill Brooks of Nordson ASYMTEK, a long-time PCB designer, CID instructor, and fantastic sculptor. He is also one of the first to ever teach standalone PCB design courses in a college. After he earned his certification to teach the IPC CID workshops, Bill served as an adjunct instructor at Palomar College near San Diego, teaching beginning and advanced PCB design classes for 10 years. I asked Bill to share his thoughts on setting up a PCB design education career plan, and the need to stay on top of your game as a PCB designer.

Copyright © 2022 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.