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38 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2020 and skills to compete in an ever-changing global marketplace. IPC Education exists to identify skill gaps in our industry and develop training materi- als to close those gaps. These materials start as a question posed to electronics engineers, tool operators, managers, designers, and other industry professionals around the world: where does a lack of knowledge and skills hamper you or your company's ability to perform at a level that ensures your continued competitive- ness and profitability? IPC Education, its learn- ing specialists, and a team of industry experts work to answer this question by developing effective and engaging educational programs to meet its challenges. The end-users of these materials get the best of both worlds: indus- try experts who define and ensure the accu- racy of the required knowledge and skills, and instructional experts who create meaningful learning experiences. Many of you already benefit from these edu- cational programs. If you are CID or CID+ certified, it means the study materials you received before the examination were devel- oped by IPC Education in conjunction with IPC Certification. But these materials extend past the CID and CID+ certifications. Over the past few years, IPC EDGE's online learning platform has pushed the boundaries of what can be delivered to the electronics industry. IPC EDGE is an online learning management system that incorporates live video instruc- tion, on-demand lectures, a central forum for all course materials, and built-in quiz and test- ing features that provide a robust virtual learn- ing experience. The online training courses are targeted at a wide variety of sectors and supply chains within the electronics manufacturing industry. Popular courses include topics on ESD control, assembly courses for novice operators, and program management and process trouble- shooting courses for managers and engineers. More germane to this publication, IPC EDGE now offers two very popular courses focused on printed board design engineering: "PCB Design Fundamentals I: Schematics" and "PCB Design Fundamentals II: Fabrication." This past winter and spring, I took both courses on the fundamentals of PCB design. As someone with a background in materials physics for semiconductors, I went into these courses with more understanding of chip-level design than board-level design. And while I already had learned quite a bit about printed board design (specifically layout) by manag- ing design-focused IPC standards development committees, I considered myself to be a novice. By the end of the course, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly and by how much I came to understand the processes of board design—materials selection and stackup; stra- tegic component placement; designing for manufacturing, cost, and testability; multiple signal integrity topics; design tool operation; the general fabrication workflow, and much more. It helped that the instructor, Kris Moyer, has decades of experience in board design and was more than willing to put in extra hours to help his students understand the concepts discussed in class. Both courses are undergirded by a hands-on design project that spans PCB Design Funda- mentals I and II. This project tasks students with designing a data acquisition unit replete with FPGA and sensor bundles. The assign- ment is no small task, and both the project and course were genuinely challenging. But the payoff was well worth the effort, and the hours I put into the design tool while perfecting my layout—checking design rules, applying new concepts learned in class, racking my brain to Over the past few years, IPC EDGE's online learning platform has pushed the boundaries of what can be delivered to the electronics industry.

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