Students in Central Ohio Technical College’s (COTC) new semiconductor manufacturing engineering technology program got the exciting opportunity to visit and work in a cleanroom in collaboration with Neurxstem and Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority in January, making the college and our students one of the first in the region to start getting hands-on laboratory experience in the high-demand field.
Four students, alongside program director Asif Khan and engineering lab coordinator Kyle Fulton, got the unique chance to enter Neurxstem’s cleanroom space, as well as interact with an immersive lab activity inside the environment.
The visit began with an informative lecture from Neurxstem founder and CEO Rene Anand, PhD, who prepared students on what to expect inside a cleanroom. While the company deals with biomedical testing, Anand explained how the experience of dressing in protective gear and handling and operating laboratory equipment is a skill that is invaluable to any cleanroom environment, as well as easily applicable and transferable to semiconductor manufacturing.
Anand’s lecture was a wonderful opportunity for the students. By providing access to the state-of-the-art cleanroom lab, he aims to teach and inspire the next generation of young engineers.
Cleanrooms are designed and operated with the utmost attention to detail and are completely free of environmental contaminants like dust and other airborne particles that could potentially damage delicate electronic items like semiconductors.
With this in mind, students geared up in their bunny suits (also known as cleanroom suits), glasses, gloves, hair and beard nets, and all other necessary personal protective equipment (PPE). Once they had donned the puffy white suits and lab jackets, they headed inside for their interactive laboratory experience.
Students managed auditing documentation; utilized refrigerators; and operated modern, industry-standard equipment, drawing in liquid through pipettes and meticulously dispersing them into multiwell culture plates.
COTC is excited to be the first in the region to engage in interactive and hands-on occupational activities, giving our students firsthand, real-world knowledge and experiences that directly translate to field experience. This is in keeping with our institution’s commitment to collaboration and pushing our bright, eager-to-learn students to become the most educated and adept versions of themselves, ensuring they will step into high-demand career fields with all the preparation and readiness they need to be successful.
COTC offers both an Associate of Applied Science and short-term certificate in semiconductor manufacturing. This is the institution’s first semester offering the course, and faculty and staff alike are excited to see how the program grows as more students enroll and graduate. More information can be found at go.cotc.edu/semiconductor.
COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC has four campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.