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30 The PCB Design Magazine • May 2017 FEATURE INTERVIEW Launching a New PCB DESIGN CURRICULUM in Serbia by Associate Professor Bojan Jovanovic UNIVERSITY OF NIŠ, SERBIA Let me share with you an experience that I remember from my college days. When I was a student, I had a professor who was too proud of the fact she was an academic. "You don't need to know how to manually solder electrical parts or how to design printed circuit boards," she lectured. "It is important that you understand the formula for charge car- rier currents in a p-n junction." This was her exciting example: The allusion is clear. You engineers and re- searchers should focus on engineering, and let the technicians do the technical jobs! Indeed, from the first semester until the last one, we students did not take a single course covering printed circuit board design, nor did we learn how to manually solder during our laboratory hours. Right after graduation, I started working as an R&D engineer for a Swiss company that developed and manufactured instruments for measuring magnetic fields and electrical cur- rents. And guess what? Nobody ever asked me about charge carriers in p-n junctions. Moreover, I was given a heated soldering iron, and from day one, I was asked to design, assemble, test and use many custom printed circuit boards of different shapes and different complexities. We were using the Protel 99 SE CAD tool, the older brother of Altium Designer. You can imagine my frustration and the trem- bling of my hands while holding a 300°C hot stick in one hand and soldering tweezers with an 0402 resistor in other hand. I felt the same way using my new PCB design tool—I spent months building my designing skills starting from the very basic tutorials (schematic and PCB design of a simple transistor-based multi-vibrator cir- cuit) and finally on to some advanced PCB de- sign techniques. In the meantime, I moved from industry to academia. I was lucky enough to be part of

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