The Route
Closing Out 2019 on a Positive Note
Local chapter events, plus a great keynote in North Carolina.
Wow! I can’t believe it’s December already. The IPC Designers Council chapters had another active year filled with great industry content from various industry events and chapter activities. From chapters that remain very strong to an old legacy chapter being resurrected and a new chapter formed, local entities continue to be active in their respective regions. We finish our 2019 chapter update series by highlighting the Silicon Valley Chapter and the Research Triangle Park (RTP) Chapter, plus some comments on the Designer Certification program.
Silicon Valley Chapter
Chapter leader: Bob McCreight
The Silicon Valley Chapter held its final 2019 meeting Oct. 24 in Milpitas, CA. Thanks to Sierra Circuits for recording the meeting and their complementary slides. Much appreciation goes out to Footprintku and Zuken for their roles in hosting and sponsoring the meeting. The combined team did a great job, and we look forward to working with them again for next year’s fourth quarter meeting. We had 35 attendees. The venue was excellent, and the lunch was enjoyable. The topic, presented by Scott Nance, was informative and contained a lot of great PCB design material. I would also like to give a shout-out to Optimum Design Associates for its involvement. The next chapter meeting will be Feb. 13. More details will come in early 2020.
PCB Carolina included a STEM
Figure 1. PCB Carolina included a STEM program for local students.
Research Triangle Park (RTP) Chapter (North Carolina)
Chapter leader: Tony Cosentino
The RTP Chapter hosted PCB Carolina 2019 on Nov. 13 at the North Carolina State University McKimmon Conference and Training Center (Figure 1). The event was a great success. As current president of the chapter, I commend our officers and volunteers for their tremendous efforts to bring such a large event to this region.

The event included an awesome keynote address about IoT by Tom Snyder of RIoT Labs and Gaëlle Fages of Bayer Crop Science, along with breakfast (Figure 2). Afterward, the show floor opened with 78 vendors of PCB design software, fabrication, assembly, components, materials, and more. The first part of the event included eight technical sessions, followed by a large buffet lunch. The second part of the event included eight more technical sessions. Technical session details are located on the PCB Carolina website, and the actual presentations will be posted soon. The third part of the event included an evening reception with more food and drinks (Figure 3).

Keynoter Tom Snyder
Figure 2. Keynoter Tom Snyder of RIoT Labs talks IoT.
Thirsty attendees
Figure 3. Thirsty attendees line up for the evening reception.
The RTP Chapter arranged two half-day soldering workshops through Circuit Technology Inc. (CTI), which occurred during PCB Carolina. CTI’s IPC Master Instructor Angel Deluna taught hands-on soldering workshops in accordance with IPC J-STD-001, IPC-610, and IPC-7711. And in conjunction with PCB Carolina, IPC offered a course the day before the event on design for excellence by Dale Lee of Plexus. Further, EPTAC held IPC Designer Certification Programs for CID and CID+. CID certification was taught by CID Instructor Kelly Dack, and CID+ certification was taught by CID+ (Advanced) Instructor Dave Seymour (Figure 4).
Dave Seymour leads the CID+ certification class
Figure 4. Dave Seymour leads the CID+ certification class.
The RTP IPC Designers Council offers this event to bring designs and engineers together to keep the local community connected and offer opportunities for continued education. We aspire to attract younger talent to this industry by engaging local universities and community colleges because they are our future. This year, we worked with IPC to bring 50 local high school students from five schools who are involved in the STEM program to PCB Carolina. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines: science, technology, engineering, and math. The students were in a structured environment called the Owl Project. During lunch, a panel of industry engineers talked with the students, who then were chaperoned through the exhibits.

This year’s event was up in registration from last year’s event by 15% (not including the STEM students). I hope to see new faces at PCB Carolina 2020, so start making your plans now to attend.

For 2020, the chapter will hold elections at our January chapter meeting. I have been the RTP Chapter president for the past 10 years, and I plan to step down. I will remain active in an ancillary position to support the chapter as required. I publicly announced my plan to step down as president of the chapter during the keynote at PCB Carolina. I have publicly endorsed current VP Randy Faucette as the next president, and we are working to bring a new face to the VP position.

IPC CID/CID+ Certification Success
We continue to have successful IPC CID and CID+ certification courses as we close out 2019. Our most recent class successes were held in many diverse locations throughout the US and abroad. Classes to mention over the past few months ranged in locations from Santa Clara, CA (PCB West), to Schaumburg, IL; Anaheim, CA; Dallas, TX; Raleigh, NC (PCB Carolina); and Scottsdale, AZ. The last class of the year was held in Manchester, NH. Congratulations again to all those who have successfully achieved IPC CID or CID+ certification. These certification courses are an excellent source of professional development.

And if you are not yet CID/CID+ certified, I highly recommend these certification courses as a path for continued education in PCB design. For 2020 CID and CID+ certification schedules and locations, contact EPTAC Corp. to check current dates and availability. Note: Dates and locations are subject to change, and a minimum enrollment of seven students is required for a class to be held.

Stephen (Steph) Chavez
Stephen Chavez MIT, CID+
is a member of the IPC Designers Council Executive Board and chairman of the communications subcommittee.