John Blake, chair, MIDAS Ireland with Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD at the launch of Microelectronics Week (photo by Naoise Culhane Photography)
It’s Microelectronics Week and MIDAS Ireland, the industry-led organisation responsible for promoting the microelectronics industry, has taken the opportunity to launch its annual engineering competition for third-level students.
The aim of Microelectronics Week, which runs until 8 November, is to highlight the contribution of this sector to the Irish economy as well as its impact on the global market.
There are about 60 companies operating in the microelectronics sector in Ireland, accounting for 8,000 high-value jobs and annual exports estimated at €9bn. Globally, this industry is worth €300bn annually and this is forecast to grow further.
The next generation of talent
The student competition, supported by Analog Devices, invites undergraduates studying electrical, electronic or microelectronic engineering to submit a design and development project with a micro-electronics or electronics hardware base, for a chance to win €1,000 prize money.
The competition winner will also be given the opportunity to meet with the judging panel for mentor advice around a career in the sector.
“Cultivating the next generation of engineering talent is fundamental to ensuring the ongoing sustained success of the sector,” said John Blake, chair of MIDAS Ireland. “Our aim is to reward ingenuity and originality and this is reflected in our judging criteria which will look specifically at the quality and creativity of project objectives, the strength of visual impact and, of course, the precision of execution.”
The closing date for entries is 11 April 2014. Then, an adjudication panel will select three finalists to present their projects in front of an audience and participate in a Q&A before the overall winner is announced.
Annual MIDAS conference
Other events arranged for Microelectronics Week include a Research in Action forum today, Wednesday, at 10am in the Royal College of Physicians, Dublin, where leading panelists from industry and affiliated bodies will discuss how best to commercialise microelectronics research. Following that, MIDAS Ireland’s annual conference will take place at the same location on Thursday.