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Patty Goldman speaks with Dr. Bhanu Sood of NASA, Dieter Bergman IPC Fellowship Award recipient, about his extensive involvement with IPC on many committees developing standards to his work teaching professional development courses and mentoring young engineers.
Patty Goldman: Congratulations, Bhanu, on the Dieter Bergman IPC Fellowship Award.
Bhanu Sood: It was a very pleasant surprise when I found out. I received a call him from John Mitchell’s personal administrator, and I said, “I wonder why he wants to speak with me.” I’m very pleased. Thank you.
Goldman: It’s quite an honor. Let’s start with your background, how you got into the industry, and then we can talk about your involvement with IPC. Tell us about yourself.
Sood: Soon after I finished my engineering graduate degree at George Washington University, I started working at the Naval Research Lab on electronics materials and microfabrication. That was about two decades ago when I started with NRL. I wasn’t doing anything that you would call traditional PCB fabrication; it was more of R&D work for the Navy. But I gained a good understanding of how we fundamentally work with materials for electronics applications, such as different interactions and how they get processed.
In 2005, I switched jobs and started working with the CALCE Center at the University of Maryland. Soon after I joined CALCE, I was so glad that I had spent the previous four or so years at the NRL because CALCE was a fast interstate moving at such a very different pace. At the Center, they work with all imaginable sorts of electronics, including medical devices, automotive (even electronics from the Indy 500 race cars), aerospace/avionics, telecommunications, downhole oil drilling, etc.
In a sense, the NRL work and my graduate education provided me with a fundamental understanding of electronics materials and material processing, which I applied in a reliability and test context at CALCE for 11 years. That’s where it took off. Then, I moved to NASA close to five years ago, where I kept up on working with electronics. I don’t do as much hands-on work as CALCE, which was kind of a bummer for me at the beginning. When I came to NASA Goddard, I thought, “Am I going to sit in my office all day?” But I found out that there’s so much more than working in a lab. There are risk assessments and reviews, complex decision-making, our spaceflight projects, and watching how these pieces of complex electronics that I work with so closely fit into the overall instrument or flight systems. We fly these spacecraft and instruments to achieve the Agency’s goals. That, in a nutshell, has been the progression of my career.
To read this entire interview, visit the 2020 edition of Real Time with... IPC Show & Tell Magazine.