Better to Light a Candle: Chapter One

Christopher T. Middlebrook
Christopher T. Middlebrook

Michigan Tech’s new course in printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing is the topic of a series of columns in I-Connect 007. The first column “Better to Light a Candle” Chapter One—Prepping the Next Generation,” by Marc Carter, features an interview with Christopher Middlebrook (ECE).

Better to Light a Candle: Chapter One—Prepping the Next Generation

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of columns on a new university course in PCB manufacturing at Michigan Technological University. Marc will chronicle the progress of this class, interview the guest lecturers, introduce the students, etc.

There has been a considerable amount of (electronic) ink and words shared in our industry bemoaning the graying-out of our industry and the growing shortage of skilled people at all levels. (See the May 2017 PCB007 Magazine column “Help Wanted—and How!” for just one example). As is usually the case, though, when all is said and done, more has been said than done.

That is why it was so refreshing to learn of someone who has decided to do something about it. Enter Dr. Christopher Middlebrook, a professor at Michigan Technological University (MTU) in Houghton, Michigan. On January 14, 2019, he will open the first session of “EE4800: Printed Circuit Board Fabrication”—a hands-on engineering class intended to give undergraduate students an introduction to the basics of printed circuit design, fabrication, and assembly.

Read more at I-Connect 007, by Marc Carter.

In subsequent columns, Carter will chronicle the progress of the class, interview guest lecturers and talk to students. In addition to photos of Michigan Tech’s equipment suite for the new course, Carter interviewed instructor Chris Middlebrook (ECE). In the interview section of the column, Middlebrook tells Carter he is amazed by the response and guidance from industry in launching the new course.

I-Connect007 is a extensive global source for news and original content serving the printed circuit design, fabrication and assembly/EMS market.

Related:

Better to Light a Candle: Chapter Two—Introduction to PCB Fabrication

Altium Sponsors Use of Software for PCB Design Class

Michigan Tech has entered into an agreement with Altium for the use of software in a classroom setting. The 12-month arrangement allows the University the use of Altium Designer software used to design printed circuit boards (PCBs).

The software will be primarily used in EE4800, Printed Circuit Board Fabrication, taught by Christopher Middlebrook (ECE). The agreement includes 20 licenses to the latest version of the Altium Designer software, as well as free updates and upgrades.

Middlebrook says he is pleased with the agreement, valued at $116,850. “Using Altium will allow students to have first-hand experience and exposure with a globally recognized software design package,” he said.

EE4800 is a hands-on undergraduate engineering class that teaches students the basics of printed circuit design, fabrication and assembly. This is a new course with its first offering in Spring of 2019. The class is the subject of what is expected to be a series of columns in I-Connect007.

Altium is a multinational software corporation headquartered in San Diego that focuses on electronics design systems for 3D PCB design and embedded system development.

By Electrical and Computer Engineering.


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