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76 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2020 gives you a much better understanding of how and why certain decisions were made. If you disagree with something currently in a stan- dard, you are always open to bring your sup- porting data and make your case for a change in the next revision. The second thing to highlight is the opportu- nity to attend the keynotes. There are two good keynotes this year, with the first on Tuesday morning featuring Burt Rutan, and another Tuesday evening that has Elaine Larsen speak- ing at the Women in Electronics reception. Burt Rutan is an aerospace engineer and entre- preneur who was instrumental in the design of Voyager and SpaceShipOne. Both of those vehi- cles are engineering feats in their own rights. Affordable space travel is closer than we might think, and Burt is at the forefront of that effort. Elaine Larsen is a two-time IHRA Jet Dragster World Champ in a male-dominated sport. She also launched a STEM initiative that works with students to get them interested in racing and all the engineering required to get a car going 280+ mph. I am sure both will be well worth your time to attend. From there, we get into the real meat of the conference: the professional development courses and tech sessions. This is where I think the greatest value of IPC APEX EXPO resides. Within the many wide corridors of the San Diego Convention Center, among the random water and coffee stations—and the stray baked good if you're lucky—you will find some of the greatest minds in the industry sharing findings from their own research studies or real-world experience that normally started with a failure of some sort but was remedied. Shameless plug: I will be joining Mike Kon- rad of Aqueous Technologies on Sunday, Feb- ruary 2, in PD11 to talk about electrochemical migration and the new IPC J-STD amendment on qualifying cleanliness. I'll be expouding on the real-world effects of "contamination gone wild" while Mike goes through what will cer- tainly be an informative and good-looking pre- sentation; he's really good at those. You may also find a few sessions that feel more like a sales pitch than a learning oppor- tunity. When you find yourself in that position, be sure to leave a comment for the session Chair, which will be passed on to the pow- ers that be in IPC. I have walked out of a few myself—no shame there. There is a concerted effort to be sure that the sessions are not sales pitches and are technical in nature, but a few will get by the goalie, and those are the worst. Inevitably, when you sit in a session like that, the person giving the talk isn't all that technical but more on the sales side of things. Most people giving presentations work for a company that has something to offer, so there will always be a sales aspect to it, but some are simply more blatant than others. You will see this most often when product/mate- rial A vastly outperforms product/material B (shocker), and the only details to be given during the session are "come see me at my booth." But I digress. Basically, if you have a question about anything related to the assem- bly process—all the way from raw compo- nents and bare boards through assembly, test- ing, and final packaging—you will be able to find a session or personal development course that is focused on that. The last thing to look forward to is all the opportunities to mix and mingle with every- one previously mentioned. All the speakers are there for the same reasons attendees are, so they are also roaming those wide hallways. More likely than not, they will be happy to discuss the presentation they delivered in more detail. They can often be found in their company booth or roaming the expo floor, If you disagree with something currently in a standard, you are always open to bring your supporting data and make your case for a change in the next revision.

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