IPC Designers Council Viewpoint: Mike Creeden


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When covering the IPC Designers Council, one quickly learns that it’s the volunteers who make the train run on time. San Diego PCB CEO Mike Creeden, CID+, is one such volunteer, and as a member of the Designers Council’s Executive Board, he was a must-have for this issue. I tracked him down and asked him to give us a rundown of his involvement with the DC, and to explain why designers might want to get involved with their local DC chapters. 

Andy Shaughnessy: How and when did you get involved in the Designers Council?

Mike Creeden: Around 1993, I was presented by a fellow designer an invitation to attend a new meeting called the IPC Designers Council, which was being held at Qualcomm. I had known of IPC for most of my career of 17 years, but I did not know anything about a Designers Council. So, being curious by nature, I attended this meeting and immediately saw several fellow designers I was well acquainted with, and then I met several new people whom I still see to this day. There was some good food and it was an event outside of work, so I really started to enjoy the meeting.

What came next was profound. I was exposed to IPC standards and the value they brought to my designs, my company and ultimately my career! I saw that the charter of these meeting was to bring this education out to the designer in the workplace as a form of education. So being the naïve person I am, I asked, “What are we doing to get this message out there to those that don’t know about this Designers Council chapter?” The response was simple. “What do you think we should do and how would you like to go about it?” I was nominated as the Education board member and had the privilege to serve for several years.

Shaughnessy: What do you think are the most important benefits that the Designers Council offers designers and the industry?

Creeden: The Designers Council is a multifaceted organization and as such has been several different things to me over the years. I assume this must be true for other people as well. The primary benefit that the DC brings is improvements to the products in our industry. It does so by way of improving the knowledge base of each designer who attends and participates. The products we design become more reliable by applying the proven standards as determined by the experts in the industry, from a cross-section of the marketplace.

When we as designers bring improvements to our company, we’re recognized by our peers and by our employers. We may not always be rewarded, but as your value goes up, maybe it’s time to find a company that would recognize and reward your value. Another aspect that I mentioned earlier is the opportunity to network with others in your profession. This can be in the form of meeting old friends or making new friends. Maybe it is a time when you can learn some helpful methods to deal with technical issues or a professional response to something that was occurring in your workplace. Often, business connections and business deals can occur based on the contacts that you make through the Designers Council. When someone sees you attending, participating, and contributing in a public forum, they may become interested in services you offer, your expertise, and your ability to use it well. 

To read this entire article, which appeared in the December 2015 issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.

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