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NOVEMBER 2022 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 35 highest I have ever seen in in my lengthy career attending this conference. It was obvious that people were anxious and eager to get back to in-person interaction and collaboration. Everyone gathered in groups and talked about printed circuit engineering in one form or another. I was finally back in my element, and I know the feeling was mutual for so many oth- ers. We all had that same feeling of euphoria. Among the many discussions I had at the conference, one recurring topic was auto- mation. e gap between the old and the new generations of PCB designers continues to grow, and lack of education and training opportunities within the industry has caused a significant shortage of experienced and tal- ented PCB designers. ose of us who have been around for more than 10 years and still have a lengthy runway in our career in PCB design have a great future ahead of us. Yet, as I see the pool of young EEs entering the PCB design ranks with a mindset shaped by grow- ing up in the digital age, I am delighted to see that a digital virtual existence, automation, and optimization seem to come naturally to them. I have a good feeling for the up-and-coming printed circuit engineers, and I am confident that the industry will be in good hands. In my PCB West presentation, "PCB Design Best Practices," I addressed my pillars of best practices. ese are: • Digital integration and optimization • Engineering productivity and efficiency • Digital prototype-driven verification • System-level model-based engineering • Supply-chain resilience In this two-hour session, I explained that leveraging digital automation throughout each pillar increases the potential for overall suc- cess while reducing design cycle time. is increases multi-discipline collaborations and multi-domain integrations, and reduces proj- ect cost and risks. I shared my experiences in how leveraging digital automation allowed Digital automation for productivity and effi- ciency is the sought-aer utopia of the PCB design and manufacturing processes. Today's electronic design automation tools are better suited and more capable than ever in arming engineering teams with tighter integrations, system model-based engineering, and verifica- tion automation to achieve this ideal approach in the never-ending quest to attain the high- est level of repeated success from one design or project to another. Yet engineering teams continue to face complex challenges internally within their ecosystems and externally to their companies. With the geopolitical and economic turmoil headlining the news today, combined with the slow recovery from this pandemic, sup- ply chain disruptions continue and intensify the challenges for project teams to design their products while struggling to evolve internal legacy processes and dated methodologies to get to market as fast as possible. Engineer- ing teams must now implement supply-chain resilience at the point of design. Like many others in the industry, I have embraced our new working environment and have not let it stop me from evolving my skill set as a printed circuit engineer to include designing for supply-chain resilience as well as mastering my CAD tool. Yes, like so many oth- ers, roughly two years in physical isolation has me extremely eager to get back out there. Surf- ing threads on LinkedIn and YouTube, where anyone can easily find educational PCB design content, has gotten to a point of information overload due to the amount of content out there. Viewing content in the virtual world is not quite the same as physically attending an industry conference in person, where in-per- son, face-to-face interactions and collabora- tion amplify the potential for success. I spent an entire week in Santa Clara, Cali- fornia, attending PCB West in October. Oh my gosh, it was crazy awesome. e excitement and buzz of those who attended, presented and or showcased on the show floor was the

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