RIT Partners with EMA and Cadence on New Curriculum in Electronics Design and Manufacturing


Reading time ( words)

EMA Design Automation, Cadence Design Systems Inc., and Rochester Institute of Technology are collaborating to provide college-level printed circuit board (PCB) design courses for students in RIT’s College of Engineering Technology.

Taught both online and in-person by PCB design industry experts, the courses can provide engineers with training and development opportunities in key areas of electronics design and manufacturing.

Within the next 15 years, 78 percent of PCB designers will no longer work in the field due to retirements, according to an annual industry survey. With a critical shortage in trained PCB professionals, this college-industry collaboration can provide today’s students with the skills to meet manufacturing demands.

“Ongoing learning is essential in acquiring the critical skills and specialized knowledge necessary to succeed in tomorrow’s workforce,” said David Junkin, Academic Network Program Director for Cadence. “Cadence is proud to support both EMA and RIT in their efforts to make learning PCB design easily accessible to new engineers. With knowledge and understanding of this critical skill, they can continue to solve complex technological challenges and drive innovation for the next generation of electronic devices.”

EMA Design Automation sponsored the creation of this new curriculum, which was developed and reviewed by a team of PCB design experts. Cadence donated its OrCAD software for the course, allowing for hands-on design instruction. EMA is also offering students the chance to become OrCAD certified as part of this course; the software is utilized extensively in manufacturing today.

“I decided to take this course to have a more formal understanding of PCB design and to learn the different software packages from OrCAD,” said Noah Carrier, one of the dozen students currently in the pilot course this spring semester. “All my PCB design experience is self-taught on the job, so I don't exactly have an algorithmic way of attacking new designs. My hope from this class is that I have more knowledge to work with new and exciting technologies with a formal PCB design education. That is how I hope it will further my career.”

The general topics in the classes are electrical schematic capture techniques, PCB design techniques, PCB manufacturing knowledge, and other PCB-specific design constraints. With this background, Carrier and his classmates may qualify for the certification offered by the company, “a nice bonus to the knowledge gained,” said Carrier, a fifth-year computer engineering technology student from Rockland, Maine. He participated in a co-op and as a part-time employee at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester. He’ll begin work as a laboratory engineer after graduation in May. 

"Built upon concepts taught in the popular Hitchhiker’s Guide to PCB Design book, the curriculum provides training and development opportunities in design and manufacturing fundamentals, CAD software familiarity, incorporating design for manufacturing. This further solidifies EMA’s commitment to empower engineers and support the worldwide EDA market through education," said Manny Marcano, president and chief executive officer of EMA Design Automation.

“EMA is committed to supporting the next generation of engineers by providing them with the skills they need to meet current industry demands,” Marcano added. “Students want to excel in the workplace, and our goal is to empower them with access to training and courses that will help them acquire the skills employers are actively looking for.”

James Lee, acting department chair for RIT’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology, agreed. This course combines both theory and application, and students are finding that it can potentially give them an edge in growing fields needing next generation PCBs.

“RIT is leading the way by continuing to provide timely and relevant learning opportunities that address in-demand knowledge and skills,” said Lee. “Our collaboration with EMA allows us to do just that. This curriculum will provide engineers with a combination of the technological and higher-level skills necessary to succeed in this rapidly changing industry.”

Share




Suggested Items

Altium’s EDDI Report Tracks Components’ Availability—Today and Historically

09/15/2022 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
There’s one lesson that all designers have learned over the past few years: Components might be here today and gone tomorrow, so tracking your parts is more important than ever. Any resources that help you keep tabs on your required parts are invaluable in these days of 40-week lead times. Earlier this year, Altium released one such resource: the Electronic Design to Delivery Index (EDDI) report. Assembled from millions of bytes of data gleaned from the Octopart search engineer and the Nexar platform, the monthly EDDI report provides part availability histories going back years, as well as a real-time snapshot of global inventories.

John Watson Wants You—to Sign Up for His PCB Design Class

08/11/2022 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007
I-Connect007 columnist John Watson is teaching an introductory class on PCB design at Palomar College this fall, but this is much more than a basic design class. But John has hit a slight snafu: He needs a few more students to sign up before Aug. 23, or the class will be cancelled. It’s an online class, so you don’t have to live in San Diego to attend. In this interview, John talks about the genesis for the class and its benefits.

The Survey Said: Why Don’t You Know Your Fabricator?

06/23/2022 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
When we want to find out what challenges our readers are facing, we just ask. And they don’t mind sharing—the good, the bad, and the ugly. In a recent survey, we asked our PCB designer readers, “Why don’t you know who is going to manufacture your boards?” Here are some of more interesting replies we received, edited slightly for clarity. Do you see yourself in these replies?



Copyright © 2022 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.