Teresa Rowe and Nancy Jaster, in charge of IPC’s Emerging Engineer Program, explain to I-Connect007’s Patty Goldman and Jonathan Zinski how this novel approach to attracting and supporting young people works.
Patty Goldman: Teresa and Nancy, let’s start by having you tell us a little about what each of you does at IPC.
Teresa Rowe: I am a senior director of assembly and standards technology. I work with a technical team, as a staff liaison to the industry preparing IPC standards. My focus is in the assembly area. I’m also one of the leads for the emerging engineer program that we’re going to be discussing today.
Nancy Jaster: I am also in the technical department as a staff liaison. My focus is more on IPC’s design standards, and I assist Teresa with the emerging engineers program.
Goldman: Teresa, can you please describe the emerging engineers program and fill us in on this IPC program?
Rowe: The emerging engineer program started about three years ago. At IPC APEX EXPO 2018, it will have reached its third year. It was developed out of a conversation we had about attracting the younger generation to join our standards activities and to be more interested in our efforts as a global association for the electronics industry. We are attempting to pair emerging engineers, or individuals, who are in the early part of their career in electronics with someone who has been part of a task group or subcommittee, and part of our standards development processes, for a longer period of time. We like to think of it as a way to bring the two generations together to introduce our older generation to the newer technologies and newer thoughts, but also for our emerging engineers to gain the knowledge and exposure that they need to develop their careers. We started very small and we have grown the program; we have tried to tailor it each year to not only have our engineers grow in the program, but also to introduce them to more detailed projects as the years develop. Nancy came on board at the tail end of the first year.
Jaster: The program is to help these young people develop leadership skills as well, because it gives them an opportunity to explore other areas, and to understand everything about the association. We’ve had real success in having some of our mentors take our emerging engineers and make them co-chairs of teams, so they can start learning the leadership skills that they need. It’s an excellent program for people who are new in the industry or who haven’t been there very long to get some leadership ability, as well as learn more about IPC and the standards development process. It really helps IPC out because it gives us some fresher views...not that we don’t love our members who have been with us for a long time, but it gets us some newer people involved and starts expanding things, so we can be ready for the future as well.
To read the full version of this interview which appeared in the January 2018 issue of The PCB Magazine, click here.