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Page 24 of 105

DECEMBER 2018 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 25 What about the future of designers? I think about this all the time. I look around the room at our Designers Council meetings and don't see many young designers. The number of designers who are retiring or approaching retirement age is huge, and "greybearding" is going to leave a lot of CAD seats empty. All of today's designers should think about how we can find and promote the fact that PCB design is a very good career choice, is in demand, and is capable of providing a nice income once you acquire the skills. I don't have the answers, but I'll throw some thoughts out there. I'm certain that there are engineering students who should be intro- duced to the layout profession where the puz- zle solvers could use that electrical theory in their toolbox. What can IPC do to raise aware- ness of PCB design in schools, colleges, and universities? Can we find ways to put young designers under the wings of older, experi- enced designers as "masters" to mentor these apprentices? OEMs are already struggling to find experi- enced designer talent, so it would be in their best interest to start training the next genera- tion of designers. IPC could support chapters by arranging for videos to be made of the speakers' presentations at Designers Council chapter events, which could be made avail- able to other chapters and designers who don't have chapters local to their areas. These videos could also be made available at little or no cost to share with new designers to help educate them too. If our industry doesn't step up to find ways to recruit and train the next generation of design- ers, we run the risk of these jobs going away to countries other than the U.S. where the wages are lower. We desperately need to expand the number of designers here and build a stronger future for those of us in this industry. I believe IPC and Designers Council chapters can play a role in helping to educate and inspire better designers for the future ahead. DESIGN007 Scott McCurdy is the director of sales and marketing for Freedom CAD Services Inc. and can be reached at scott. Cutting and Pasting with Graphene To date, it has proved very difficult to convert the promises of the miracle material graphene into practi- cal applications. Amedeo Bellunato, Ph.D. candidate at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry, has developed a method of cutting graphene into smaller fragments using a diamond knife. He can then construct nano- structures from the fragments. Graphene is a honeycomb structure of carbon atoms just a single atom thick. After its discovery in 2004, it seemed to be the ideal basic material for nanotechnology applications: it is super strong and it is an exceptionally good conductor of both heat and electricity. However, in his dissertation, Bellunato states that making such nanostructures is still an extremely complex production process that does not lend itself well to serial production. Also, it has proven almost impossible to selectively 'functionalize' graphene chemically (i.e., to connect other chemical elements such as oxygen or nitrogen atoms) to the edges of a graphene nanostructure. It is important to be able to do this to make graphene into a versatile nanomate- rial with multiple applications. Inspired by earlier experiments, Bellunato decided to take a different approach, namely to take a sand- wich of plastic and metal with a layer of graphene in the middle, and to literally cut it into fragments. He does this using a microtome, diamond knife that can cut fragments with nanometre precision. The unconventional technique that he developed will not primarily be used in consumer products, he expects, but rather in advanced research instru- ments. (Source: University of Leiden)

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