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62 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2023 Forcing Designers Out of Their Comfort Zone We were watching your screens live during the contest, and we could see where you'd realize, "Oh, this is RF right here." Definitely. I saw a lot of things that I haven't seen much of before. I've spent much of my time in aerospace, and we really never venture into something like this because everything we look at has to be more rigid and stable. So, that's where I came from. Are you familiar with Altium? I've been using it since August when I moved to Wisk, so my only real "adventure" in Altium was doing this competition, although I've attended a couple of classes at Christmas. Yes, it's a new tool for me, but it comes from a tool that I used many years ago, Protel and P-CAD. I started my career in layout 30+ years ago with Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 Aer the IPC Design Competition at IPC APEX EXPO, I spoke with contestant Paul Brionez. He's a senior PCB layout and design engineer with Wisk Aerospace in Mountain View, California. I asked Paul to share his thoughts on this contest, and the rigid-flex technology that was the focus of this year's event. As Paul explains, he was happy to be pushed out of his "comfort zone" in this design competition. Paul, tell me a little about the competition. It looked very interesting, and potentially problematic—a hand-shaped virtual reality glove made of rigid-flex. Last year's design was just a name badge with a light. It's quite a unique design. I don't really know what the end-product was. It looked like a wearable, but we don't really know. It was just an oddly shaped board. Much of what I've done over the years has been more rigid, so it's a unique opportunity to work on something like that. You were on your own. I've seen some rigid-flex, but nothing quite as complex as that. It forced you out of your comfort zone, but that's timely, because many of our readers are being forced into rigid-flex now. Sure, and sometimes you learn by being out of your comfort zone. It has a lot to do with push- ing you to your limits in that type of scenario. Paul Brionez 62 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2023

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