Micron, U of I partner in microelectronics workforce development education programs

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Next Generation Microelectronics Research Center.

Moscow, Idaho – The University of Idaho College of Engineering, in partnership with Micron Technology, is building the professional semiconductor manufacturing workforce in Idaho through Next Generation Microelectronics Research Center (NGeM).

In support of the 2022 CHIPS, Science and National Focus Act to Revitalize Domestic Manufacturing and Mediate Supply Chain Issues in the United States, research funding for the lab is provided by a college grant, created through a $1 million gift from the Micron Technology Foundation.

“Advancing America’s technology leadership requires talented engineers and technicians with diverse skills,” said Scott DeBoer, executive vice president of Micron’s Technology and Products organization. “The U of I College of Engineering leads the way in Idaho with world-class undergraduate and graduate programs and research in microelectronics.”

Launched in 2014, NGeM provides expertise to undergraduate and graduate students through research projects funded by Micron, the National Science Foundation, and the US Department of Defense, among others. Undergraduate and graduate students develop expertise in microelectronic device design, manufacturing, packaging, cybersecurity, plant safety, and related technologies, such as semiconductor physics, electrochemistry, corrosion, and applications for the semiconductor industry.

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Micron last year announced plans to invest $15 billion through the end of the decade, as a result of the CHIPS Act and science.

The Micron Endowed Chair at Microelectronics is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Feng Li. Micron’s establishment of this awarded position provides a permanent source of revenue for the laboratories and faculty-supervised research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

“With our 40-year partnership with Micron, we have continued support for research into advanced semiconductor design and manufacturing and one of the strongest foundations for advancing microelectronics education and workforce training in Idaho,” Lee said.

U of I is expanding its microelectronics courses and training programs, with certification programs soon to be available.

Micron last year announced plans to invest $15 billion through the end of the decade, as a result of the CHIPS and Science Act, to build a groundbreaking memory manufacturing facility in Boise that will secure the national and economic security of the United States. The new plant will require a highly skilled and diverse workforce, increased research investments and deeper local semiconductor faculty expertise to support the workforce of the future and ensure the success of semiconductor research, innovation and manufacturing in Idaho and the United States.

Micron’s investment will create more than 17,000 jobs in Idaho, including 2,000 direct jobs at Micron as the entire cleanroom and production ramp is built. As part of the Company’s continued commitment to the Idaho community and to further development of its workforce, Micron will increase investment in K-12 STEM education programs, build on partnerships with community colleges and universities and identify new ways to provide advanced skills training to underrepresented and rural residents.