SEMI Foundation

SEMI Foundation Mission and Vision

The mission of the SEMI Foundation is to support education and career awareness in the field of high-technology.

Vision: Positively impact all who participate, including students, their parents, teachers and volunteers

  • Present a curriculum based in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) that stimulates interest in a high-tech career
  • Enhance the positive perception of tech companies based in semi­conductor technology
  • Partner with technology lead­ers, colleges and secondary schools in each community to deliver the best program possible

Overview of the SEMI High Tech U Program

Sponsored by the SEMI Foundation, SEMI High Tech U (HTU) is a three-day, career exposure program for high school age students 15 – 17 years of age. HTU exposes students to the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills through fun and interactive, hand-on activities that take place at high tech industry and university sites.  Taught by industry volunteers, students learn in an atmosphere that fosters curiosity and encourages questions.  


After attending a HTU program, students understand the education and career pathways leading them to high tech fields, allowing them to make informed education and career choices. The SEMI Foundation commits to helping high school students gain a better understanding of how Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are used to solve “real world” problems. This realization fosters a renewed commitment to explore a future in high tech industry.

The SEMI Foundation has been delivering the SEMI High Tech U program since 2001 and to-date, has reached ove 6,000 students and teachers through more than 200 programs around the world. 

Edwards Holds Exhibition and Silent Auction of "Micro-Art" to Support SEMI Foundation’s High Tech U

By Marta Oliveira, Edwards Vacuum


Over 125 guests from the semiconductor industry attended a unique exhibition and auction held at a reception hosted by Edwards Vacuum at the recent SEMICON West. The “art” is painted on the surface of computer chips, generic ICs that might have been plucked from a circuit board in some abandoned desktop computer. The “micro” comes from the incredible level of detail the artist manages to achieve in these miniature works. . Proceeds of the auction went to the SEMI Foundation to support SEMI’s High Tech U, which introduces high school students to the semiconductor manufacturing industry.

The exhibition featured the work of Paris-based American artist Yuri Zupancic. The original inspiration for his work came from the practice among early chip designers of incorporating personal identifying marks in their circuit layouts to establish ownership. Any unscrupulous competitor who simply copied the design would be called out by the presence of such non-functional features. The marks might mimic functional devices to make them difficult to discern, but eventually grew to include elements such as the designer’s initials, complex drawings or whimsical images and visual puns that often expressed some aspect of the  individual designer’s creativity or personality.


Zupancic has always been fascinated by the impact that rapidly evolving communications technologies have had on our modern society. To create these miniature masterpieces, he has had to invent and fabricate his own set of micro-tools, one of which is a tiny paintbrush made of a single human eyelash. His subjects have ranged widely from tributes to the old masters to galaxies and studies of human motion. For this exhibit, and in honor of the 60th anniversary of Moore’s Law, he fashioned a miniature portrait of Gordon Moore. The 2cm by 2cm photorealistic image was auctioned to the highest bidder, with proceeds donated to the SEMI Foundation.

Geert Follens, president of the Vacuum Solutions Division at Edwards’s parent company, Atlas Copco, made introductory remarks, as did Mike Allison, vice president of Edwards’s Vacuum Semi/DSL Business Unit. Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI and president of the SEMI Foundation, was there to accept the contribution. McGuirk noted that SEMI’s High Tech U would celebrate its 200th program in Albany, New York the following week.  The SEMI Foundation has conducted 202 SEMI High Tech U programs for both students and teachers with a combined impact on more than 350,000 individuals since the program’s inception in 2001.

The SEMI Foundation is known for its flagship program, SEMI High Tech U, which serves high school students interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).   Companies and organizations can contribute to the SEMI Foundation’s High Tech U program, by generously offering financial support, in-kind donations, and volunteering at High Tech U events.


Board of Directors

John Biera, Principal
Central High School
Phoenix, AZ

Dana Ditmore
Oak Valley Consulting
Morgan Hill, CA

Yong Han Lee, Chairman
Gyeonggi‐do, Korea

Stanley Myers, President
ST Myers and Associates
Mountain View, CA

Belle W. Y. Wei, Ph.D., Carolyn Guidry Chair in Engineering Education and Innovative Learning
San José State University
San Jose, CA

Arthur Zafiropoulo, Chairman & CEO
San Jose, CA 


Denny McGuirk, Chairman
President & CEO, SEMI

Richard Salsman, CFO and Treasurer
CFO & EVP Global Alliances, SEMI

Leslie Tugman, Secretary
Executive Director, SEMI Foundation

Impact Report

For More Information on Sponsoring or Hosting a High Tech U Program in Your Area

Contact Leslie Tugman, Executive Director, SEMI Foundation at 1.503.312.9275 or email at

2015 By the Numbers

  • 190 High Tech U programs as of December 2015
  • 5,334 students reached through High Tech U as of December 2015
  • 1,117 teachers reached through Teacher Academy as of December 2015
  • 11 states hosted High Tech U programs
  • 6 countries hosted High Tech U programs
  • 539 industry volunteers supported High Tech U in 2015
  • $13,500 in scholarships awarded in 2015
  • 240 pizzas consumed by High Tech U students in 2015

Contact Us:
Tel: 408.943.7860

Address: 3081 Zanker Road
San Jose, CA 95134

2016 High Tech U Programs and Events

Apply Online

Mail, Fax or Email Application


MILPITAS, CA - HTU for High School Students
November 8-10, 2016

Applied Materials
Fab Owners Association
Nikon Precision
San Jose State University
VWR Foundation


AUSTIN, TX - HTU for High School Students
October 11-13, 2016

Fab Owners Association
Nikon Precision
Texas State University - San Marcos


LUBBOCK, TX - HTU for High School Students
October 4-6, 2016

Fab Owners Association
Texas Tech University


MOHAWK VALLEY, NY  - HTU for High School Students
August 9-11, 2016



ALBANY, NY - HTU for Teacher Academy
August 1-2, 2016



ALBANY, NY - HTU for High School Students
July 20-22, 2016

Applied Materials
BOCES Capital Region
CNSE SUNY Polytechnic
Edwards Vacuum
Fab Owners Association
National Grid
Price Chopper
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


SILICON VALLEY, CA  - HTU for High School Students
June 21-23, 2016

Applied Materials
Fab Owners Assoication
Fairchild Semiconductor
Nikon Precision
Western Digital
San Jose State University


LONGVIEW, WA  - HTU for High School Students
April 26-28, 2016

Lower Columbia College
Millennium Bulk Terminals

TAIWAN  - HTU for High School Students
April 20-22, 2016

National Tsing Hua University

HILLSBORO, OR  - HTU for High School Students
March 22-24, 2016

Applied Materials
Cascade Microtech
FEI Company
Portland Community College

AUSTIN, TX  - HTU for High School Students
March 2-4, 2016

Applied Materials
Samsung Austin Semiconductor
University of Texas - NASCENT


PHOENIX, AZ  - HTU for Teacher Academy
February 19-20, 2016



SEMI Foundation 2015 Sponsors