Complex Circuit Boards Field Trip Wows STEM Pupils

NPI Services, Inc.TTM Technologies, and Samueli Academy partnered to give STEM students a tour of TTM’s state-of-the-art PCB fabrication process. The tour began with an informative presentation by Julie Ellis, BSEE, TTM Field Applications Engineer, and a featured speaker for IPC events. Julie did an amazing job explaining how to manufacture complex circuit boards for such products as computers, phones, electric cars, satellites, rockets, medical devices, and more. She used a grilled cheese sandwich analogy for material stack-up, and had many sample boards and materials for the students to examine and touch. Following the presentation and lunch, the students had a guided tour of the facility which supports TTM’s extensive capabilities. These include inspecting up to IPC-6012 Class 3/A, using materials such as Megtron 6, Rogers, Polymide, etc., tight tolerances for laser microvias, and much more.

We really appreciated the variety of scientists who stopped by to share how they became chemists, physicists, manufacturing engineers and electrical engineers. They represented a culturally diverse group, many with PhDs in advanced STEM fields. The students heard stories of years of hard work, balancing school, work, and family, but also the satisfaction from reaching goals and the pride in building very complex circuit boards. The Samueli Academy students were intrigued with the tour and the exposure to such a complex chemical manufacturing process.

As a long-term customer from the days of Power Circuits during my time at WD, to the many years NPI Services has been a devoted customer of TTM, I want to especially thank our sales representative Mark Thompson for coordinating this event, and the generous team from TTM Anaheim for managing logistics, and providing a delicious lunch for the students. These future STEM professionals came away with an inspiring experience of applied math and science by visiting a facility that can produce complex circuit boards, and especially by meeting the people who work there. Our hopes are that they continue to stay fascinated with STEM to help contribute to Orange County’s next generation of technology innovators for NPI to support!

Thanks also to Nicole Washington, board member of Samueli Academy, and wife of Gregory Washington, dean of UCI engineering, for reaching out to NPI Services/Judy for assistance in identifying potential STEM field trips. This type of community cooperation helps our STEM students realize that the support is there to help them succeed in reaching their STEM dreams.

If you are interested in producing a brief field trip with lecture, tour and lunch for local students, please contact Judy Greenspon to help support more of these opportunities to give back to our communities, and help students appreciate applied math and science.