CITC: educating the next generation of high tech talent

Together with HAN University of Applied Sciences, Chip Integration Technology Center (CITC) developed the Semiconductor Packaging University Program. An educational program tailored to the specific needs of all companies involved. The second edition starts September 2021. This time, CITC aims to educate not only employees, but also bring in new talent, says general director of CITC, Barry Peet.

CITC is all about chips. The innovative tech center develops packaging and integration technology for chips to provide solutions to societal challenges. Barry: “We’re a non-profit innovation center, founded in 2019 in collaboration with TU Delft and TNO. CITC is where companies, research institutes and educational institutes work together to bridge the gap between academics and industry. We’re not doing research just to do research. We want our results to benefit the real world.”

Semiconductor hotspot

“Every day, we experience the advantages of being located in Nijmegen and more specifically on the Novio Tech Campus”, Barry says. “We’re right in the middle of a semiconductor hotspot. Our biggest clients and partners are literally at walking distance. We meet at the coffee corner.” Being physically close does not only help with finding new clients, but also creates opportunities to team up with partners. “For instance, we are currently using the X-ray machine from our neighbor company EPR to analyze our samples. We’re sharing devices and our knowledge.”

"We want our results to benefit the real world"

Being in the center of the semiconductor industry, made CITC realize how big the need is for properly trained and highly skilled students and employees, with skills sets that fit the needs of the industry. “There are studies that focus on semiconductors, but they lack in relevant information about packaging”, Barry says. To bridge that knowledge gap, the tech innovation center collaborated with HAN to develop its own minor in semiconductor packaging. Barry: “This course allows both students and company employees to get training in all relevant aspects of packaging, both theoretical and practical.”

Unique chance to look behind the scenes

The first students, mostly professionals from the Novio Tech Campus, started their studies in September and will complete the course around June. Gwen Visser, physical analyst at NXP, is one of them. “I wanted to deepen my knowledge of the semiconductor technology”, he explains. “This minor is fully in line with the chip technology I work with on a daily base. One of the major selling points of this minor is the fact that all teachers come from a business background. The course gives me the opportunity to see how the process of chip packaging actually works. Not even in my job at NXP could I get this kind of experience. And the best part: because it suits my daily practice so well, I can immediately apply everything I learn.”

>> Boost your career in the high tech chip industry, find more info and register for the next edition of the semiconductor packaging program!

Win-win situation

The second edition of the minor starts in September 2021. This time, CITC focuses even more on attracting young students. “We want to create more visibility for our specific branch of tech industry. Chips are everywhere; in your car, in your phone, in your laptop. But consumers, and students, never actually get to see our technology. With this minor, we want to change that.”

It’s a win-win situation, Barry concludes. “Tech companies can secure their future with new, properly trained and skilled talent. And at the same time, we enable our current employees to stay up to date on the latest developments in this industry. And last but not least, it’s a great way to promote Nijmegen as a leading chip hotspot, to future talent and to the rest of the world.”