You may be familiar with the IPC Electronics Workforce Training Initiative—an expanding series of education programs created to help the electronics industry overcome gaps in workforce skills—but do you know anything about the instructors who help develop and provide the training? IPC is fortunate to work with a team of subject-matter experts and instructors who share their significant knowledge and skills with the current and next generation of the electronics manufacturing workforce.
Kris Moyer and I first met at IPC APEX EXPO. Kris is a part-time faculty member at Sacramento State and an active IPC volunteer. He is currently the chair of the 1-13 Land Pattern Subcommittee, co-chair of the D-21 High-Speed, High-Frequency Design Subcommittee, and an active member on at least a dozen other committees. Kris also works with the IPC Education Team in developing PCB design training programs, which he also teaches. He talked to me about his experience teaching for IPC.
John Mitchell: Kris, you work as a PCB designer, college professor, and volunteer on several IPC committees. What drives you to teach IPC Electronics Workforce Training Programs as well?
Kris Moyer: I enjoy teaching. My mother was a teacher, and it runs in the family. I enjoy teaching what I know to the next generation. There is so much to learn, and a big part of the skills gap is that boards have become so much more complex. Historically, board design was just drawing lines and connecting Point A to Point B, but everything has changed. Digital designs are the norm now, and the sizes of components are much smaller, making design much more detailed.
Mitchell: How did your career experience lead you to teaching?
Moyer: When I was just starting out as an engineer, I wasn’t familiar with the requirements for electrical assemblies, so I read IPC-2221 and IPC J-STD-001 cover to cover to familiarize myself with that standard. I recognized that the basics in design were one of the most important courses to teach new students, so I worked with the IPC Education Team to develop the PCB Design Fundamentals I and II Programs. These courses introduce the concepts and skills required to create designs that comply with IPC standards. I also worked with the IPC Team in building several advanced level design courses that will build on the knowledge gained from the Fundamentals Programs.
Mitchell: What courses do you teach for IPC?
Moyer: I teach PCB Design Fundamentals I and II and additional specialty courses, including PCB Design for Advanced Packaging, PCB Design for Rigid-Flex Boards, PCB Design for Military and Aerospace Applications, and PCB Design for Extreme Environments. The courses utilize interactive webinars, on-demand recorded class sessions, job-specific exercises, and team projects to facilitate mastery of the key concepts required by circuit board designers.
Mitchell: Are you working on any new courses with the IPC Education Team?
Moyer: Yes, we are currently working on some new courses that will be released in 2021: embedding component design, printed and wearables, and RF design boards.
Mitchell: How does this curriculum of PCB design courses help not only learners but also businesses?
Moyer: The PCB design fundamentals courses provide organizations with a means of rapidly training new designers. Once those designers learn the basics, IPC offers a catalog of advanced-level training for specific skill sets. Most importantly, all of the IPC design courses are a combination of theoretical design training, practical application, and an understanding of how IPC standards are applied to the specific design area.
Mitchell: When does the next set of courses begin?
Moyer: The next IPC PCB Fundamentals Course is scheduled to begin on February 9, 2021. You can find the detailed course catalog at training.ipc.org.
If you’re planning your educational opportunities for 2021, then look no further than IPC’s Electronics Workforce Training. Courses include detailed illustrations, video presentations, interactive activities, and practice quizzes, all formulated to make complex topics easy to understand and master. Each topic is carefully selected to align with the skills and competencies vital to advancing an electronics career at any level. The full course catalog is available at training.ipc.org/products.
This column originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of PCB007 Magazine.