The PCB Design Magazine

PCBD-Dec2017

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16 The PCB Design Magazine • December 2017 by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 Thermal management expert Johannes Adam, PhD, was kind enough to take the train from his home in Leimen, Germany to meet with me during productronica in Munich. He is the creator of TRM (Thermal Risk Manage- ment) software and contributor, with Douglas G. Brooks, of PCB Trace and Via Currents and Temperatures: The Complete Analysis, 2 nd Edition. He's also working on his own book on thermal management. Johannes sat down for an inter- view, and I asked him to share his views on the current state of thermal management for PCBs, and what the industry can do to put the spot- light on what's hot in PCBs. Andy Shaughnessy: Johannes, why don't you give us a brief background of your career and how you got into thermal management? Dr. Johannes Adam: I started in 1989 when I entered my first position in the industry. That position dealt with electronics cooling and the simulation of air flow in telecom racks of that time. The company that employed me was looking for a physicist who was able to do programming and to do user support. That was perfect for me, although I'm a professional as- trophysicist. Shaughnessy: There are not many astrophysi- cists in the PCB world. Adam: A few. I never did serious observations with a telescope; instead I did programming solving differential equations in astrophysical scenarios. But, of course, there are intersections between both. We talk about the physics of heat flow and heat transfer in PCBs, and all this can be formulated in differential equations, which of course theoretical physicists are educated to solve. Shaughnessy: What came next for you? Adam: After seven years I joined another com- pany, Flomerics. They were doing this business more professionally: solving airflow and heat transfer inside enclosures, cooling by heat sinks, cooling by fans, etc., all done numerically on the computer. I was doing some basic analysis of PCBs. In 2009, I decided to build up my own business and to concentrate on the heat flow and temperature in PCBs. For more than a de- cade I presented a seminar on thermal issues in PCBs for electrical engineers and PCB designers. FEATURE INTERVIEW

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