UT Tyler Office of News and Information

UT Tyler College of Engineering and Computer Science Receives Endowment for New Laboratory

The University of Texas at Tyler College of Engineering and Computer Science has received an endowment to create a new computer engineering center within the Department of Electrical Engineering, Dr. James Nelson, College of Engineering and Computer Science dean, announced.

The SPEA Center for Semiconductor Testing in the department will be used to introduce hands-on laboratory semiconductor test procedures into the electrical engineering curriculum so that graduates are prepared for a career in this field.

“The gift from SPEA will help our college to meet the needs of local industry by preparing our students for successful careers in semiconductor engineering,” said Nelson. “College industry partnerships are the best way to introduce high-tech jobs to invigorate the East Texas economy and we hope to have many such successful collaborations in the near future.”

A dedication ceremony will be 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 4 at the UT Tyler Ratliff Engineering and Science Complex Building South, fourth floor suite and terrace.

Dr. David Hoe, assistant professor, and Dr. Mukul Shirvaikar, chair and professor of electrical engineering, will oversee the daily activities of the grant.

UT Tyler also been invited to join the Collaborative Alliance for Semiconductor Testing including industry bellweathers like Texas Instruments, IBM, Intel and major universities like Texas A&M University, Auburn University and Georgia Tech University.

This collaboration will inevitably result in high-tech research and development applications, thereby benefiting the East Texas area economy.

David Buhrkuhl, SPEA president, who has been a strong supporter of UT Tyler and their engineering programs, has a long-term vision of for developing this college-industry partnership, to include training programs and cutting-edge research for military and consumer electronics applications.

According to Buhrkuhl, the semiconductor test industry is robust in spite of the economy and foresees a great demand for electrical engineers who are knowledgeable in the area.

“Our collaboration with The University of Texas at Tyler is our first step to pursue a local source for engineers to support SPEA America and our customers,” Buhrkuhl said. “Our experienced engineers will work with UT Tyler electrical engineering professors to integrate into their curriculum the technical training of semiconductor testing. Typically this training is only acquired on the job after graduation.

“A graduate coming out of this university with such technical training and experience will have an advantage searching for a job. It is also a benefit to the hiring companies, such as SPEA America, as we estimate it will cut six months off of the ‘getting up to speed’ time for the graduate. The companies will save a lot of money, making them more competitive in the world market of semiconductors,” he added.

SPEA designs and manufactures Automatic Test Equipment for microchips and electronic boards. Its systems are utilized in all hi-tech fields, such as aerospace, aeronautics, telecommunications, automotive, consumer and safety electronics.

For additional information, contact the electrical engineering department, 903. 566.7417.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,400 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

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 Last Published 1/7/11