TIE Interconnection Techniques in Electronics (www.tie.ro) is a professional student contest having as the main organizer APTE (Management Entity for ELINCLUS cluster) and a different Romanian university each year where the contest takes place. The contest also has the support many ELINCLUS members, IEEE-CPMT Hu&Ro Joint Chapter, IEEE-CPMT Student Branch Chapter of the “Politehnica” University of Bucharest and AFCEA Romania. The event includes a one day workshop and two competition days.
Every spring, representatives of the Romanian academic environment participate. TIE has as permanent central purpose: the training of the future engineers involved in the development of electronic modules in the benefit of the industry. The subjects proposed are meant to mirror as close as possible real challenges they will encounter in their future professional activity as design and production specialists for electronic products in various fields. A major role is played by the IAC (Industrial Advisor Committee). This committee consists of people who are part of the electronics industry and includes many former TIE participants. This committee has a very good collaboration with the Technical Committee. As a natural result of this collaboration TIE has become an event that gives students the opportunity to have their level of professional competence certified directly by the industry. The IAC together with the TC manages, through a perfect collaboration, the generation of the subject (topic of the subject, drafting of the subject), the assessment scale, the entire evaluation process and finally, after ordering the results obtained by each student, sets up the score that a student should have achieved in order to receive the "PCB Designer" title. TIE not only aims to bring industry and university together, in a tighter, more constant collaboration but under its slogan, „Turn your hobby into a profession!”, also targets to challenge students to think outside of the box, to face them with real-life design challenges and present to them what are the industry’s expectations from an engineering graduate. Therefore, besides the student contest, workshops and presentations held by both foreign universities as well as electronics companies go along with the contest every year. As an end result many top contestants are being hired by companies that support TIE, and their “PCB Designer” diploma is becoming widely recognized.
It is important to underline that TIE, supported by academia, has become an industry-driven activity. The synergy between the electronics industry focused on development of electronic products and academia involved in education and training of the future electronic engineers has leaded to the continuous improvement of the quality of the graduate electronics engineers working in the industry.
The IEEE International Symposium for Design and Technology in Electronic Packaging (www.siitme.ro) is an annual Eastern European event, technically sponsored and organized by APTE (management entity for ELINCLUS cluster) and IEEE CPMT Society Hu&Ro Joint Chapter. SIITME is a scientific forum for exchanging information between academia and industry from Central and Eastern Europe on topics related to their experimental and theoretical work in the field of electronics and micro-systems, manufacturing technologies and advanced packaging. Therefore this conference is a meeting point for universities, companies and researchers in the field. It is worth noting that one of the committees of the event, Human Resource and Education Training Committee is industry-driven and represents the interests of the companies for high quality research. This event represents an opportunity to maintain a communication channel open between industry and academia, enabling the transfer of research results to the industry. From this point of view we should also mention the involvement of APTE – Association for Promoting Electronic Industry. APTE has the role of promoting dialogue between the economic and the academic environment, as such the event also hosts an exhibition where industry members can present their latest products and services. This is also an excellent opportunity for ELINCLUS members, especially SMEs to present their products for the bigger audience without high cost. SIITME is a conference that gives the opportunity to young scientists to present their work. Many of the participants are students who take this opportunity to present and discuss results they obtained to other researchers. Research teams from all over Romania present their results. Long-established universities such as Cluj, Iasi, Timisoara and Bucharest, as well as emerging young universities such as Alba Iulia, Baia Mare, Galati, Brasov, Pitesti, Suceava and Sibiu are present through the papers of nationally and internationally renowned professors and professionals.
NOTE: For sustained contributions to electronic packaging technology and for establishing the IEEE SIITME Conference and Exhibition and student TIE competition, as well as for IEEE CPMT activities in Region 8, Prof. Dhc. Paul SVASTA PhD., president of ELINCLUS cluster has received the 2015 IEEE CPMT Regional Contributions Award – Region 8 (Africa, Europe, Middle East).
Following the input of industry members from the ELINCLUS cluster regarding the necessity of better prepared human resources in the field of electronic applications (design, assembly, testing, etc.), APTE (management entity of ELINCLUS cluster) created a working group together with academia members, especially “Politehnica” University of Bucharest (UPB) and Center for Electronic Technology and Interconnection Techniques (CETTI). The working group members concluded that the young engineers, although they are well prepared for the design and simulation tasks required for development of electronic products they lack practical experience and “know how” in the areas of electronic assembly, testing and rework. The proposed solution, agreed by the working group members, was the introduction of a new discipline that tackles these subjects at UPB.
In the second semester of the 2013-2014 academic year, for the first time an optional extracurricular laboratory at “Politehnica” University of Bucharest that represented a short introduction in electronic technology was organized. The goal of the activity was familiarizing first year students with the general aspects of electronics modules assembly and initiation of interested students in the methods and technology of design and fabrication of common electronic modules and devices. The objective was also to promote the electronic technology understanding and increase interest among students. Students would achieve practical experience for assembly of common electronic modules, including the fabrication technology, with the goal of obtaining knowledge for designing, assembling and testing his own electronic projects. During the laboratories, the students were introduced to basic electronic components, devices and equipment. Also they were taught to design simple electronic schematics (multivibrator astabil circuit for example) using CAD design software and choose the appropriate components for assembling. For the hands-on part they were introduced to IPC Electronic Standards for Through Hole and Surface Mount technology and they had the opportunity to manually assemble their own electronic prototypes using breadboards, perfboard and printed circuit boards (PCBs) using SMD components. Due to high demand and also with good results from the previous participants at the laboratory course, this activity became part of the curricula for first year students in the 2014-2015 academic year. The students acquired practical knowledge regarding electronic components soldering in Through-Hole and SurfaceMount technology according with IPC technical standards.
In the 2014-2015 academic year the curricular project for third year students was updated, requiring that students who wanted a grade higher than 7 out of 10 to design, assemble, test, measure and compare their findings for their own electronic module within the requirements of their thematic. The specific competences to be gained by students attending this hands-on project are:
- Ability to design, execute and measure small/medium complexity electronic circuits;
- Ability to design small/medium complexity electronic circuits and to implement them using CAD techniques;
- The use of methods and tools specific to signal analysis
These activities resulted in more students being engaged in practical applications since their first year of studies and also better prepared for their bachelor thesis, the next step towards becoming a high valued electronic engineer. Also the introduction of this course into university curricula is higly appreciated by companies like MIELE Romania, Continental Electronics and many SMEs within ELINCLUS and Buharest-Ilfov region of Romania.