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Microelectronics-Photonics (microEP) Graduate Program University of Arkansas


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Title: Microelectronics-Photonics (microEP) Graduate Program University of Arkansas

Microelectronics-Photonics (microEP) Graduate
ProgramUniversity of Arkansas
  • Ken Vickers Director
  • Research Professor, Physics (1998 present)
  • Eng Management, Texas Instruments (1980 1998)
  • 479 575-2875 vickers_at_uark.edu
  • www.uark.edu/depts/microep
  • Louis Stokes Louisiana Alliance for Minority
    Participation (LS_LAMP)
  • STEM Research and Education Conference
  • November 1-3, 2002 Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Agenda microEP Grad Program
  • Acknowledgements
  • Case for Action
  • Mission, Attributes, and Tactics
  • Dissemination Efforts
  • HBCU Partnerships
  • REU Efforts and Activities
  • GK-12 Outreach
  • Survey Results
  • Lessons Learned
  • Final Observations

  • Dr. Len Schaper PI
  • UA Professor, Electrical Engineering
  • Dr. Greg Salamo Co-PI
  • UA University Professor, Physics
  • National Science Foundation IGERT (DGE-9972820)
  • Department of Education FIPSE (P116B000981A)
  • National Science Foundation REU Site
  • Other NSF programs
  • Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or
    recommendations expressed in this material are
    those of the authors and do not necessarily
    reflect the views of the National Science

Interdisciplinary Case for Action
  • Issues
  • Required knowledge content in degree always
  • State-of-the-art advances often appear at
    degree boundary layers
  • Academic training emphasizes individual
  • Business aspects of technology minimized in
    technical degrees
  • Industrial success requires individual and team
  • Responses
  • Define flexible interdisciplinary degree for
    the boundary layer
  • Maintain vigorous technical content of
  • Add extra course for entrepreneurship of high
    tech research
  • Hire experienced industrial technical manager
  • Organize graduate program as industrial
    technical group
  • Hold each student accountable for all students
    academic success

Comparison of Academic and Industrial
Professional Environments
Practice Industrial Academic
Job goal alignment Management defined to support group goals Individual voluntary alignment to departmental efforts
Creative work Balanced between management assigned tasks and self defined tasks Self defined, with possible voluntary collaborations on large projects.
Work hours Coordinated to optimize group performance Self scheduled to meet personal goals and institutional assignments
Work location All work at common location to support ad-hoc work groups Independently set hours at home and campus to meet personal needs (and office hours).
Compensation system Rewards group performance, then individual contribution Rewards individual accomplishments, not departmental success
Problem solving Collaboration is necessary for success and is strongly coordinated across groups Collaborations are theme based voluntary coordination of individual research projects
Student Recruitment Method
microEP Mission
  • The educational objective of the microEP program
    is a graduate fully prepared to drive the
    advancement of the combination of
    microelectronics and photonics.
  • This objective will be accomplished through a
    rigorous interdisciplinary graduate technical
    education, including soft skills and
    entrepreneurial training.

Microelectronics-Photonics Graduate Program
  • Created in April 1998
  • MS microEP approved July 1999
  • PhD microEP approved July 2000
  • Defined as interdisciplinary between Physics,
    Chemistry, and all engineering
  • Focused on electronic and photonic materials, and
    the devices and systems they can create
  • Defined as professional development type degree
  • Based on industry-like Cohort methodology

The microEP Graduate Program Research Spans
from Nanoscale Quantum Dots and Devices
to 3-dimensional High Temperature
Superconducting Electronic-Photonic Systems
microEP Enhancements of Traditional Departmental
Degree Elements
Traditional Departmental Education
Supplemental microEP Elements
  • Technical Knowledge
  • Core classes in undergrad dept
  • Most electives in department
  • Few other technical electives
  • Technical Knowledge
  • Core of interdisciplinary classes
  • Applied technical electives
  • Business classes
  • Research Methods
  • Slow student initiated linkage to research prof
  • Professors group meetings
  • Research Methods
  • Design of Experiments class during summer
  • Quick assignment to research prof
  • Formal research project plan
  • Team Skills
  • Project teams in classes
  • Team Skills
  • Pseudo-industry engineering group
  • Weekly operations management seminars
  • Intro summer camp for all microEP students
  • Invention and innovation
  • Individual mentoring within research group
  • Invention and Innovation
  • Summer inventiveness workshops
  • Personality and learning methods mapping

Results in
  • Broadened technical knowledge
  • Rapid acclimation to first job
  • Early leadership roles
  • Earlier significant personal success

Sound technical graduate degree
microEP PhD Candidacy Exam
  • Traditional University of Arkansas
    Science/Engineering Process
  • Research proposal presented to committee for
  • Written exam based on content of specific
    undergraduate and graduate course knowledge
  • Oral examination by faculty of all subject
  • Experimental microEP approach
  • To provide guidance to student and faculty on
    likelihood of students success in PhD studies.
  • Research proposal in NSF format submitted to
    committee, and presented in open forum for
    comments and approval.
  • Written exam is a scenario based complex
    technology problem
  • One week duration (spring break), answer limited
    to 15 pages
  • Open written resource, no discussion allowed
  • Includes technical solution, implementation
    method, etc.
  • Oral presentation may be required by committee if

Courses Developed under microEP Influence
  • MGMT Intra/Entrepreneurship of Technology
  • MEPH Organizational Management (Physics - 1 hour)
  • PHYS Research Management (Physics - 1 hour)
  • MEPH Proposal Writing and Management (Physics/ME
    - 1 hour)
  • MEPH Ethics for Scientists and Engineers (Physics
    - 1 hour NSF REU financial)
  • MEPH Nanotech I (materials - Chemistry)
  • MEPH Nanotech II (devices Physics)
  • MEPH Nanotech III (manufacturing ME)
  • MEPH Introduction to MEMS (ME)
  • MEPH Advanced MEMS (ME)
  • PHYS Advanced Device Design (Physics FIPSE
  • PHYS Advanced Device Prototype and
    Characterization (Physics Dept of Education
  • MEPH Integrated Passives (ChE)
  • MEPH Modeling for Scientists and Engineers (Civil

Microelectronics-Photonics Graduate Program
  • Fifty-seven students accepted into program to
  • Thirteen women students
  • Nine African-American students
  • Twenty students have completed MS degrees
  • Twelve working in industry
  • Two self employed
  • Six pursuing PhD degrees (three African-American)
  • Twenty-five total PhD students on campus

microEP Student/Faculty Alignment (Fellows/Total)
Faculty Student Physics ME ChE EE Chem Open
Physics/ Applied Physics 2/12 1/2 3 3
Mechanical Eng 3/4 1/1 1 1
Chemical Eng 1 1 1/4 1
Electrical Eng 1/2 1 1/4
Material Science 2 1/1
Optical Eng 3
Math 1/2 1/1
Microelectronics-Photonics Graduate Program
  • microEP Student Group Fall 2001

Microelectronics-Photonics Graduate Program
Funding History
  • Winner of nationally competitive grants
  • 1998 NWA BEST Formed (local funds)
  • 1999 NSF IGERT (2.5 M Total)
  • 2000 NSF MRSEC (3.4 M Total)
  • 2000 NSF Partnership for Innovation (850 K
  • 2000 Dept of Education FIPSE (500 K Total)
  • 2001 NSF RET Supplements (3 teachers)
  • 2001 NSF REU Site (385 K Total)
  • 2002 NSF GK-12 (2.7 M Total)
  • 2002 NSF RET Supplements (4 teachers)
  • 2002 NSF EEP (July submission - 500k Total)

Microelectronics-Photonics Graduate Program
  • Implemented Cohort methodology for Physics
    Graduate program Fall 2001
  • Department of Education funded proposal under
  • Funded (with NSF PFI) hiring of 2nd engineering
    manager from industry for cohort training and
  • UA Cellular and Molecular interdisciplinary
    MS/PhD approved summer 2001
  • UA/OSU Planetary and Space Sciences
    interdisciplinary MS/PhD (Fall 2002 submission)
  • Modeled after microEP structures and procedures
  • Finalist in IGERT 2002 competition

Research Institution HBCU Partnerships A Case
for Action
  • Research institutions must attract students from
    all population groups for success
  • HBCUs must prepare students for transition
  • Sustainable partnerships must support
  • Institutional rather than faculty centered
  • Matching students careers to research
  • Research institutions must recognize the change
    of culture for HBCU students
  • Undergraduate versus graduate expectations
  • Faculty versus research group daily interactions
  • Black majority versus white majority society

George Washington Carver Project
  • Originated in 1996 as a UA funded REU style
  • Southern University at Baton Rouge, University of
    Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Alcorn State University,
    Tougaloo College, Jackson State University,
    Xavier University
  • HBCU Administrators identify students matching
    research opportunities
  • Initiated by Colleges of Agriculture, Business,
    and Education
  • Now also supported by College of Engineering and
    NSF REU sites
  • Typically twenty-five students in program each

microEP Partnership Tactics HBCU Administrators
  • Institutional partnerships require detailed
  • IGERT funded two-day meeting on campus for
    administrators from partner HBCUs
  • January 2001
  • Eleven attended
  • Introduced entire UA campus, not just the microEP
    graduate program

microEP Partnership Tactics Visits to HBCU sites
  • Institutional partnerships require detailed
  • Won FIPSE supplemental grant for 25K
  • Regional meeting at HBCU host (Jan/Feb 2003)
  • Funds support meeting and student travel
  • Other HBCU research institution partners invited
  • Primary purpose Advance dissemination of Physics
    cohort methodology
  • Secondary purpose Gain knowledge of HBCU
    faculty, administration, and facilities

microEP NSF REU Site Attributes
  • Submitted proposal and was funded for summers
    2001- 2003
  • Based on microEP research areas, with focus on
  • Included funding for REU students to take summer
    graduate ethics class
  • Included microEP Cohort methodology approach
  • Viewed as a prime recruiting tool
  • Dedicated three of twelve positions to Carver

microEP NSF REU Site Students
  • Twelve students attending 2001 REU
  • Five African-American
  • Three women
  • Five/seven eligible applied and accepted by UA
    grad school
  • Two others have
  • expressed interest in UA after BS completion

microEP NSF REU Site Students
  • Fourteen students attending 2002 REU
  • Four African-American
  • One Hispanic
  • Five Women

microEP Partnership Tactics Merged REU/Carver
  • Kickoff Dinner

microEP Partnership Tactics Merged REU/Carver
  • Summer Camp and common dormitory facilities

Camp concepts by Dr. Ed Sobey (www.invention-cente
microEP Partnership Tactics Merged REU/Carver
  • Summer Camp Graduation

microEP Partnership Tactics Merged REU/Carver
  • Research, Presentations, and Industry

microEP Partnership Tactics Merged REU/Carver
  • Fun in the Ozarks

Lost Valley Eden Falls
Hawks Bill Crag
Buffalo River
microEP Partnership Results
  • Undergraduate research programs are leveraging
    each other for greater benefits to students
  • Cohort methodology is effective in emulating the
    highly supportive HBCU community
  • Institutional linkages are developing, but are
    not yet sustainable beyond individual faculty
  • HBCU students are making the transition to grad
    school, but stronger mentoring may be necessary
    for some students (especially class load)
  • On campus collaborations among UA faculty are
  • A 3/2 partnership with Xavier is being formed

microEP HBCU Partnership Future
  • FIPSE conferences on Carver partner institution
    campuses in Jan/Feb 2003
  • Development of more 3/2 programs with Carver
    partner institutions
  • Development of NSF program/student database for
    enhanced matching of NSF supported undergrads
    with NSF graduate programs
  • Second Carver partner institution administrators
    meeting at UA campus

GK-12 Outreach Efforts
  • C-SPIN (www.uark.edu/depts/microep)
  • Center for Semiconductor Physics in Nanoscience,
    a NSF funded Materials Research Science and
    Engineering Center
  • Salaried K-12 Outreach Director fully funded
  • Fayetteville, Springdale, and Winslow School
  • Partners in microEP NSF GK-12 grant awarded April
  • BEST Robotics, Inc. (www.bestinc.org)
  • 24 hubs across the country with over 10,000
    students participating
  • NSF Engineering Education Proposal submitted July
    2002 with BRI

GK-12 Outreach BEST Robotics Inc
  • Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology
  • A sports-like contest between remote controlled
  • Emulates product design to market life cycle
  • Resources are limited to those components issued
    at kickoff
  • Teachers serve as coaches
  • Members of the technical community serve as
  • Community provides financial and administrative
  • Students do all the work with adult mentoring

Interpersonal Work Styles Inventory On Campus
  • Cohort Program Traditional Program
  • N M SD N M SD
  • Developing Commitment 32 4.14 0.46 17 3.99
  • Inspiring Accomplishment 32 4.29 0.56 17
    3.91 0.65
  • Valuing Communication 32 3.94 0.66 17 3.69
  • Modeling Team Building 32 3.93 0.57 17
    3.56 0.66
  • There were no significant differences in the
    valuing communication and developing commitment
  • There were significant differences on the
    inspiring accomplishments and modeling
    team-building characteristics subscales

Absolute Rating of Knowledge andSkills by
Graduates and Supervisors
  • Graduates Supervisors n M SD
    n M SD
  • Communication 6 4.58 0.49 4 4.63 0.48
  • Problem Solving 6 4.33 0.50 4 4.70 0.38
  • Team-working 6 4.33 0.41 4 4.38 0.48
  • Business Skills 6 4.28 0.57 4 4.08 0.83
  • Broad Range of Expertise 6 3.67 1.21 4
    3.75 0.96
  • Specialization in One Program 6 2.83 1.60 4
    3.50 1.29
  • Knowledge Level in Area 6 3.67 .82 4 4.50
  • Internship in Graduate Program 6 3.67 1.51 4
    4.00 1.15
  • Supervisors and the graduates considered least
    important specialization in one program area.
  • As a whole, both rated the soft skills higher
    in level of importance in completing their job
    than the academic characteristics.

Relative Rating of Knowledge andSkills by
Graduates and Supervisors
  • Graduates Ratings Supervisors Ratings
    n M SD n M SD
  • Communication 6 3.83 1.08 4 4.00 0.82
  • Problem Solving 6 3.87 0.62 4 3.90 0.84
  • Team-working 6 3.67 0.41 4 3.88 0.75
  • Business Skills 6 3.67 0.56 4 3.33 1.19
  • Broad Range of Expertise 6 3.33 0.52 4
    4.00 1.15
  • Specialization in One Program 6 2.67 0.82 4
    3.50 0.58
  • Area Knowledge Level in Area 6 3.33 0.52 4
    4.25 0.50
  • Internship in Graduate Program 6 1.83 1.17 4
    3.00 0.82
  • Both supervisors and graduates perceive microEP
    training as being more effective than the average
    program in facilitating students abilities in
    being effective communicators, problem solvers,
    and workers in a team environment.
  • Graduates perceive their academic training in
    terms of knowledge level in an area of expertise
    and range of expertise as being approximately
    average, but supervisors perceive their training
    to be substantially above average.

Industry Response to microEP Graduate Program
Dennis Andrucyk, Chief Technologist, NASA
Goddard If all graduate programs were like
microEP, I could eliminate my first year new hire
mentoring program. Mike Fox, Center for Studies
in Creativity, Buffalo State College I think
that the cohort-based workgroup concept has been
a significant contributing factor to the creative
behaviors I have observed in the
Microelectronics-Photonics students. Barry
Dill, Motorola, Device Engineering Manager I
had no idea that an educational program like this
existed that was so well matched to our technical
and teamwork needs for device and process
integration engineers.
Lessons Learned IGERT Program Implementation
  • Barriers to success
  • Student academic metrics based on individual
  • Graduate research required to be individual
  • Faculty reward and recognition based on
    individual performance
  • Resources required for extra industrial
    experience are high
  • Requirements to overcome barriers
  • University-level administrators support general
  • Program managers passionate belief in the
    program need
  • Program manager assigned only to program during
    startup phase
  • Program manager practiced in industrial
    teamwork atmosphere
  • Financial seed money support is critical
  • Customer feedback (industry) must be continuous

Final Observations
  • Observations of students in microEP program on
    campus show strong workgroup identity
  • Feedback from graduates and their supervisors
    show positive assessments against students from
    standard graduate programs
  • The small number of students leaving the
    program have not utilized the personnel skills
    taught to manage stressful situations (a
    disappointment to program management)
  • The small number of surveys returned, and short
    span of longitudinal data, demands that these
    early results be interpreted with high levels of
  • The Cohort method will be continued in both
    microEP and Physics graduate programs

Backup Information
  • Backup detailed information after this slide

Areas of Emphasis for curriculum definition
  • Photonics The study of light and its
    interaction with matter
  • Microelectronics The study of electronic
    devices and systems at the micro and nanoscopic
  • Materials and Processing The study of the
    science and engineering necessary to fabricate
    microelectronic-photonic devices and systems
  • Matrix of classes required by Area of Emphasis

Primary Area of Emphasis Second Area of Emphasis Third Area of Emphasis Technology Management
MS One One One One
PhD Six Two One Two
Interdisciplinary MS microEP Two Year Program
Traditional departmental degrees requires twenty
to thirty upper level undergraduate course hours
in the department for a crossover student. The
microEP program requires intro to EM, intro to
modern physics, and differential equations. Any
other U/G deficiencies will be defined by the
graduate courses chosen by the student.
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
BS Department A MS Department A
BS Department A MS Department B
BS Eng or Science MS microEP
U/G Deficiency
Traditional MS
The MS in Microelectronics-Photonics (MS microEP)
is a professional development degree designed for
students wishing to expand their advanced
technical knowledge beyond their undergraduate
departmental boundaries.
The PhD student in Microelectronics-Photonics
(PhD microEP) is expected to complete coursework
that reflects the educational diversity of the MS
microEP program at the University of Arkansas.
The PhD curriculum will meet each students
research interests and microEP program focus area
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