Purdue University will lead a national initiative sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Purdue says the $19.2 million, multi-university, public-private-academic partnership will help address the urgent need for engineering graduates to develop defense technologies, especially in the area of microelectronics.
The Scalable Asymmetric Lifecycle Engagement Microelectronics Workforce Development program, or SCALE, will be used for workforce development at engineering universities around the country.
“Today’s engineering students are energized by the grand challenges facing the nation,” says Mark Lundstrom, acting dean of the Purdue College of Engineering. “To create this urgently needed U.S. workforce for microelectronics, SCALE partners will work with students across the nation to build strong relationships with government and the defense industrial base and to develop the new technologies needed for secure and resilient microelectronics.”
Michael Kratsios, acting undersecretary of defense for research and engineering and chief technology officer of the United States, says a skilled technical microelectronics workforce is necessary for U.S. Department of Defense modernization initiatives.
“The workforce development program will be scalable to be used by any interested higher education institution,” said Mark Lewis, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for research and engineering.
Lewis says the program will be conducted in partnership with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division in southern Indiana.
At Purdue, the SCALE program will be directed by Peter Bermel, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. The university says Bermel will put together a team of Purdue faculty and faculty from 14 universities as well as the DoD, NASA, Department of Energy NNSA labs, and the defense industry to create a microelectronics workforce focused on national security needs.