Singapore: Students Get Up Close and Personal with Industry Executives

Singapore: Students Get Up Close and Personal with Industry Executives

To grow the future talent pool for the electronics industry, SEMI, Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA) and EDB successfully organized the inaugural Young Talent Outreach Program in the form of a “YouTube” Video Competition. Students were asked to produce a video using the theme of “Future of Electronics Innovation.”  Ten schools and 25 teams participated in the video competition.  Industry and government representatives formed a judging panel, and public voting was also used as a criterion to determine the winning entries.

The team of the “Most Popular Video” was treated to a “Breakfast with the CEO” event with the David Wilhoit, CEO of Siltronic-Samsung Wafer Pte Ltd, who is also vice-chairman of SEMI Singapore Regional Advisory Board. The event focused on having the students learn more about the manufacturing process and career prospects in the industry. Another three sessions of “Breakfast with the CEO” with other major semiconductor companies are scheduled in the next month to further outreach to the other universities undergraduates.  (Note: All winning videos are listed and linked below.)

Singapore StudentsThe three members of the winning team, Abdul Razak Md Nasiruddin, Wilson Benedict Lim and Joyce Chee Zhunyu, from Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, were invited to the event. Wilhoit kicked-off the two-hour session by giving an introduction of Siltronic-Samsung Wafer, followed by his senior managers sharing their career experiences in the wafer fabrication industry. Interestingly, the students also shared that they are founders of a company making gadgets that produces electrical voltage when being stepped on; and video production which leverages on mobile communications technologies.

Next, students were brought into the Siltronic-Samsung Wafer plant to witness the crystal growing process during the manufacturing of 300mm wafers. It was the first time that the students had to wear a smock and be subjected to a controlled air pressure environment. They were surprised by the cleanliness of the facilities and the size of the equipment used in the fabrication process. One key consideration of any solution implemented is cost. Students were eager to find out how much a silicon ingot is worth. When they learned of the high value of the products, they were better able to comprehend the emphasis of precision engineering and process. Wafers manufactured by Siltronic-Samsung Wafer in Singapore are sold globally to customers; not only locally as perceived by the students.

Typically, engineers are trained on the job for about three to four months, depending on the complexity of their assignment. Engineers are also rotated in different departments to enable cross-learning. The students found this job rotation interesting as young engineers aspire to learn as much as possible.

The Young Talent Outreach Program Video Competition was designed to outreach to not only engineering students, but also students from other faculties to raise awareness of the semiconductor industry. This “Most Popular Video” winning team consisted of students from both engineering and media studies. “It is fascinating to see how the silicon wafers are being made!” exclaimed Razak, who is from the School of Art, Design and Media, while both Wilson and Joyce are from the School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

Two hours passed quickly and the students thanked Wilhoit and his managers for the warm reception and the priceless opportunity to visit Siltronic-Samsung Wafer.

All of the Young Talent Outreach Program Video Competition videos are available for viewing:

Additional awards recognized students in different aspects— the best producer, the most creative and the most popular awards. Winners and videos are listed below:

SEMI Singapore continues to outreach to students to raise awareness and attract young talent into the semiconductor industry.

SEMI works very closely with the industries, universities and government to connect the global and local electronics companies to the students. In past years, SEMI has reached thousands of students and teachers in the U.S., Asia, Europe and the Middle East, with its innovative workforce development program, SEMI High Tech U, which is an industry-driven math and science-based career exploration program for high school-age students and teachers.

SSIA, a non-profit organization, aims to be the platform for industry players, government agencies and academia to come together collectively to address the industry needs to develop young talent.

June 5, 2012