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Education in MEMS

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The next revolution in silicon technology is presently due to the development of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). The power of the chips will not be limited simply to store and process the information. Incorporation of new type of functionality on the chip is making the structures to sense, act, and communicate as well. To fabricate MEMS devices, existing facilities for ICs fabrication is not sufficient, some more facilities have to be added, like bulk and surface micromachining, dry etching, integration of electronic, new type of packaging facilities and many others. Several devices are now produced and sold in very large quantities, for example, silicon accelerometers and pressure sensors for automotive. Due to the rapid growth of this technology, the demand has increased for qualified engineers having expertise in this technology. It is clear that there will be a huge demand in the next few years. For this reason, companies are taking qualified employees from other fields like mechanical, electrical and precision engineering to meet their demand for research and development. These engineers have to be trained on the job with regard to micro systems technology (MST) specific needs. The translation of MST from development into application and then to mass production requires not only engineers, but also skilled workers with a specific practical training. The educational institutions need to set up appropriate infrastructure, have trained teachers, fully equipped laboratories as well as training and teaching materials has to be made available. The teaching of MEMS must be moved to many education centers on a wide interdisciplinary basis which requires the extension of the basic knowledge of scientists of micro technologies, material science developed by physicists, chemists, biologists, and engineering sciences.


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