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The Micron Technology Foundation announced a $1 million gift to the University of Idaho to fund an endowed professorship in microelectronics in the College of Engineering. The gift from the Foundation will support the UI’s College of Engineering as it continues to grow its leadership position in microelectronics education and research. The gift brings the College of Engineering within reach of its December 2014 $15 million dollar Inspiring Futures goal.

“One of the missions of the Micron Foundation is to help cultivate the next generation of scientists and engineers. The impressive work being done in UI’s College of Engineering is helping accomplish this objective,” said Micron CEO Mark Durcan. “We are pleased to be able to contribute to UI’s microelectronics program as part of our support for STEM education in our state, country and around the world.”

The Micron Foundation gift is unique in that it establishes the first fully-funded endowed professorship at the College of Engineering. An endowed professorship awards faculty members who have notable achievements in research, teaching and outreach, and provides compensation and funds to support students, travel, and other research costs. Earned interest on the initial investment will allow for the professorship to reside at the university in perpetuity.

Fred BarlowDr. Fred Barlow, current chair of the electrical engineering department has been selected as the first recipient of the Micron Professorship in Microelectronics.  Barlow is internationally recognized in the field of electronic packaging with more than 100 publications on the subject.  Barlow is a Fellow of the International Microelectronics and Packaging Society (IMPAS) and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). 

“Micron has made a significant investment in the University of Idaho over the last few years which has led to a strengthening of the microelectronics program at UI. This Endowed Professorship is an opportunity to take this collaboration to a new level that will benefit the university, the company, and students throughout the state of Idaho,” says Barlow.

The Micron Professor in Microelectronics will help enable the College of Engineering to attract and retain outstanding faculty members to provide leadership, teaching, and research in key areas of interest to the microelectronics industry. 

 “Endowed faculty positions enable us to support very talented faculty like Fred who are leaders in teaching and research,” said Larry Stauffer, Dean of the UI’s College of Engineering.  “They create a ripple effect, attracting other bright faculty and students.  This is valuable for Idaho’s economy.”

Fred Barlow and Grad Student

The Micron Endowed Professor in Microelectronics will also head up the Next GenerationMicroelectronics(NGeM) Research Center in the College of Engineering. NGeM is a new interdisciplinary research center with faculty from electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, materials engineering, and mathematics.

The mission of the center is to provide an environment for faculty and students to expand and develop the entire range of expertise associated with microelectronics from applied mathematics to materials science and electronic packaging. It also educates students to be future leaders in the microelectronics industry, which makes the center’s relationship with Micron all that more valuable.   

“The microelectronics industry plays a key role in the economy of Idaho and the Pacific Northwest,” said endowed professor Barlow. “Students that receive degrees in this field are well positioned to contribute to the industry while pursuing a rewarding career. Since this industry faces a number of technical challenges and has a need for well-educated employees, the NGeM center will help create the next generation of leaders for this industry while assisting with some of the key technological barriers.”

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