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10 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2022 Admit it. You thought that there was a chance that IPC APEX EXPO 2022 would be cancelled at the last minute, or held virtually, didn't you? A lot of people did. Aer all, we're still not out of the pandemic and California has been hit harder than most states by COVID. And California has been known to change their COVID regulations faster than Ste v ie Nick s change s outfits on stage. I figured the state might pull some kind of shenanigans at the last minute: Each trade show attendee must be accompanied by a registered nurse supplied by the state of California at a cost of $10,000 per attendee. Now, have a great show! —Governor Gavin Newsom But I was wrong, and so were the other Negative Nellies in the industry. e show went better than anyone expected. e techni- cal conference and Professional Development classes and committee meetings were full of attendees. Even on the final day of the expo, there was still decent traffic in the aisles. Inter- national attendance was down overall, but Technical Editor Pete Starkey, Ventec's Alun Morgan, and Elmatica's Jan Pedersen and Did- rik Bech were able to make it from Europe to San Diego with no problem. Best of all, we were all able to get together in person, and the whole show had the vibe of a homecoming. For many in this industry, IPC APEX EXPO 2020 was our last live trade show before the pandemic, and we hadn't seen each other in two years. It was especially hearten- ing for us middle-aged folks to see so many young people at the show. I saw a lot of attendees who were in their 20s and 30s. And the IPC's STEM students from a local high school were all over the show floor, asking about the tech- nology and talking to technology icons. IPC did quite a bit to highlight PCB designers at the show. e PCB design competition got started months ago, with seven designers compet- ing in different heats, and the three finalists battled it out at IPC APEX EXPO, albeit over Zoom from their homes in the US, the UK, and Poland. e three finalists had just a few hours to design a board using Altium Designer, which none of them were familiar with, but they all managed to get up to speed quickly and do well enough to complete the design. Let's hear it for first-place winner Rafal Przestawski, as well as runners-up Nick Wal- The Shaughnessy Report by Andy Shaughnessy, I-CONNECT007 Resistance is Futile. Or Is It?

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