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Kaine Cuts Ribbon On Virginia Tech's New Lab
November 1, 2006

Virginia Gov. Timothy E. Kaine visited the Virginia Tech campus recently to participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the university’s new Micron Technology Semiconductor Processing Laboratory. The new lab is a state-of-the-art facility that will further enhance microelectronic engineering education and faculty research in Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering.

Gov. Kaine was joined by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger; Pat Otte, site director, Micron Technology Virginia; Richard Benson, dean of the College of Engineering; James Thorp, the Hugh P. and Ethel C. Kelly Professor of Electrical Engineering and head of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Robert Hendricks, electrical and computer engineering professor at the ceremony.

The refurbished laboratory, made possible by a $750,000 gift from Micron Technology, Inc., and equipped with state-of-the-art equipment purchased with state funds and federal research grant monies, will enhance the ability of students and faculty in the College of Engineering to perform advanced research in the semiconductors and microelectronic engineering.

Micron Technology, based in Boise, Idaho, is one of the world’s largest and most innovative providers of advanced memory and imaging semiconductor solutions.

“The Micron laboratory will create numerous educational opportunities for our students,” said Dean Benson. “Undergraduate students enrolled in the college’s new microelectronic engineering minor, as well as other students who are planning to do senior projects or independent research in the area of microelectronics will have access to the very best equipment and work space. Faculty conducting research in microelectronics and optoelectronics, nanotechnology and microelectromechanical systems will also benefit tremendously.”

Prof. Hendricks will oversee the activities associated with the Micron Scholars program, which provides scholarships and academic support for approximately five students a year in the microelectronic engineering program, the Microelectronic Engineering minor, and the semiconductor processing lab course. He plans to optimize the course offerings for the Microelectronic Engineering minor with particular focus given to hands-on research opportunities as a supplement to traditional lecture courses as well as further develop the lab course to take advantage of the newly installed state-of-the-art processing tools.

“We anticipate an enrollment of 20-30 students per year in our microelectonics engineering program,” said Prof. Hendricks. “The impact these students will have on the growing microelectronics industry will be significant.”

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