January 20, 2012

CNSE's STC provides training for first class to graduate from innovative Cleanroom Operator Program

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Students will be well-prepared to join NY’s fast-growing nanotechnology workforce

Canandaigua, NY – The first class to graduate from an innovative nanotechnology education and workforce development program received hands-on cleanroom training Friday at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s (CNSE) Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center of Excellence (STC) in Canandaigua, an integral component in preparing students for growing opportunities in New York’s rapidly-expanding nanotechnology industry.

Twelve students completed the two-week Cleanroom Operator Training Program, a partnership between CNSE’s STC and Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC). The course was developed in collaboration with Moser Baer Technologies, which is designing and installing a manufacturing pilot line for organic light emitting diode (OLED) lighting panels as part of a $17 million investment at CNSE’s STC that will create more than 50 high-tech jobs by 2013.

Following the cleanroom training at CNSE’s STC, graduation ceremonies and a job fair were held at FLCC’s Victor Campus Center, where students had a chance to discuss career opportunities with CNSE’s STC, Moser Baer Technologies and other high-tech employers, including optics and medical companies from Western New York.

“CNSE’s Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center of Excellence is delighted to congratulate the first class of graduates, who are providing additional reinforcements to support New York’s rapidly-expanding nanotechnology economy, which includes a growing number of career opportunities in Western New York,” said Paul Tolley, CNSE Vice President for Disruptive Technologies and Executive Director of CNSE’s STC. “We are pleased to see local residents taking advantage of unmatched nanotechnology education and training through this public-private partnership that brings together academia and industry, a critical collaboration that will bolster the highly skilled workforce essential to driving economic growth.”

“The collaboration of a two-year school, four-year school and private partners to create industry-ready workers should be a model for driving the New York state economy,” noted Lisa Thompson, FLCC’s vice president of advancement.

“This innovative program will be invaluable to Moser Baer Technologies as we ramp up our pilot line at CNSE’s Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center,” said David Newman, vice president of Moser Baer Technologies. “We anticipate hiring trained qualified cleanroom operators and other staff over the next two years.”

This first-of-its-kind course prepared students for entry-level work in high-tech research, development and manufacturing cleanroom facilities, which require environments free of pollutants to produce precision components used in consumer products such as smart phones, laptops and televisions, as well as medical devices, LEDs, and weaponry and protective gear for the military.

CNSE’s STC and FLCC have already begun the planning process for another cleanroom operator training program in the spring.

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About CNSE. The UAlbany CNSE is the first college in the world dedicated to education, research, development and deployment in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience and nanoeconomics. With more than $14 billion in high-tech investments, CNSE represents the world’s most advanced university-driven research enterprise, offering students a one-of-a-kind academic experience and providing over 300 corporate partners with access to an unmatched ecosystem for leading-edge R&D and commercialization of nanoelectronics and nanotechnology innovations. CNSE’s footprint spans upstate New York, including its Albany NanoTech Complex, an 800,000-square-foot megaplex with the only fully-integrated, 300mm wafer, computer chip pilot prototyping and demonstration line within 85,000 square feet of Class 1 capable cleanrooms. More than 2,600 scientists, researchers, engineers, students and faculty work here, from companies including IBM, Intel, GlobalFoundries, SEMATECH, Samsung, TSMC, Toshiba, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron, ASML and Novellus Systems. An expansion now underway, part of which will house the world’s first Global 450mm Consortium, will add nearly 500,000 square feet of next-generation infrastructure, an additional 50,000 square feet of Class 1 capable cleanrooms, and more than 1,000 scientists, researchers and engineers from CNSE and global corporations. In addition, CNSE’s Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon provides a prototyping and demonstration line for next-generation CIGS thin-film solar cells. CNSE’s Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center of Excellence (STC) in Rochester offers state-of-the-art capabilities for MEMS fabrication and packaging. CNSE also co-founded and manages operations at the Computer Chip Commercialization Center at SUNYIT in Utica and is a co-founder of the Nanotechnology Innovation and Commercialization Excelerator in Syracuse. For information, visit www.cnse.albany.edu.

About CNSE’s STC. The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s Smart System Technology & Commercialization Center assists small and large companies in transitioning new technologies from concept to manufacturing. STC maintains a 140,000-square-foot facility with over 25,000 square feet of cleanrooms for micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) fabrication and packaging, and works with large and medium-sized companies to help them bring new technologies to market; with small companies ready to transition from prototype and low-volume manufacturing to scalable manufacturing; and with various federal agencies to develop technology solutions to areas of critical national need, including smart prosthetics and improvised explosive device (IED) detection. For more information, visit www.stcmems.com.

CNSE Contact:
Steve Janack, CNSE Vice President for Marketing and Communications
(518) 956-7322 | sjanack@albany.edu