UO joins semiconductor network in partnership with Micron

The University of Oregon has joined the Northwest University Semiconductor Network, a partnership between the semiconductor manufacturer Micron and 13 universities across the northwestern United States that aims to train the semiconductor workforce of the future.

Semiconductors are essential components of modern electronics. Improvements in semiconductor technology over the years have helped make electronic devices like cell phones and computers smaller and more powerful—and the industry is still expanding. Today, advances in semiconductors are supporting an array of technologies, from new clean energy solutions to biomedical engineering devices.

Participating in the Northwest University Semiconductor Network will strengthen the UO’s connections to industry, paving the way to bring more semiconductor manufacturing to Oregon by training the workforce to support it.

The network will improve teaching resources, provide research and experiential opportunities for students, and facilitate collaboration between universities and with industry partners. It will also provide pathways to help a diverse group of students to enter the field, with a particular focus on recruiting students from rural and tribal communities. The network’s aims align with the workforce goals laid out in the federal CHIPS and Science Act, which is intended to draw more semiconductor manufacturing to the United States.

The new partnership builds on the UO’s existing strengths in materials science education and research. The university is home to the first graduate master’s program in electrochemistry in the country, for example. A new materials science undergraduate major—the first in Oregon—is under development, for an anticipated launch in fall 2024. And cutting-edge facilities at the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact support the development and study of next-generation materials.

“Our multifaceted approach to meeting the rapidly growing demand for a semiconductor, materials, and next-generation devices workforce brings to bear our strengths in societally relevant education, our intellectual expertise, and our world-class research facilities,” said Anshuman “AR” Razdan, the UO’s vice president for research and innovation.

— By Laurel Hamers, University Communications