Grants from Intel target workforce development

Posted: October 24, 2022

In advance of Intel’s construction of two leading-edge chip factories in Ohio, the company awarded three grants – a combined $4.5 million – to The Ohio State University and its partners to prepare a highly skilled and diverse semiconductor industry workforce.

Advancing semiconductor manufacturing
With $3 million of the funding, Ohio State will lead a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary education and research center to advance the fabrication and development of semiconductors and next-generation device technologies.

Semiconductor Epitaxy and Analysis Laboratory
Grad students work in the Semiconductor Epitaxy and Analysis Laboratory (SEAL), Ohio State’s primary facility for molecular beam epitaxy.

The Center for Advanced Semiconductor Fabrication Research and Education (CAFE) will lay the foundation for a highly skilled and diverse semiconductor manufacturing workforce by developing experiential learning frameworks for both graduate and undergraduate students. CAFE also will pave the way for breakthrough device technologies through interdisciplinary research.

This grant followed Ohio State convening the Midwest Regional Network to Address National Needs in Semiconductor and Microelectronics, a network of 12 Midwest colleges and universities developing innovative solutions in higher education to support domestic semiconductor education, research and workforce needs.

Earlier this year, Intel announced it would construct two new chip factories near Ohio State’s main campus in Columbus. The company also announced it will invest $50 million directly in institutions of higher education in the state, while another $50 million investment from Intel will be matched by $50 million from the National Science Foundation in national funding opportunities.

CAFE will partner Ohio State with nine other institutions in the state, including Ohio University, the University of Cincinnati, Central State University and Wilberforce University, as well as the education consortium Five Colleges of Ohio, Inc., composed of Denison University, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University and the College of Wooster. Learn more about CAFE.

Creating a more diverse workforce
A grant of nearly $1.5 million was awarded to Ohio State and partnering institutions across the state working toward the common goal of a more diverse semiconductor industry.

The Ohio Partnership for a Diverse and Inclusive Semiconductor Ecosystem and Workforce, a network of public and private universities, historically Black colleges and universities, community colleges and career-technical centers, will develop an iterative, student-centered, curricular approach that supports the development of a diverse and inclusive semiconductor educational field and skilled workforce throughout Ohio.

Ayanna Howard, Dean of the College of Engineering (headshot)
Dean Howard

“Intel is steadfast in its commitment to a diverse workforce, and we are prepared to help them realize that vision in Ohio,” said Ayanna Howard, dean of the College of Engineering and leader of the initiative. “Along with partners throughout the state, including HBCUs, community colleges and career tech centers, we will build a holistic, inclusive semiconductor educational ecosystem that welcomes students from all backgrounds.”

Led by Ohio State, this partnership offers the needed capacity to increase the representational diversity within the semiconductor industry, while simultaneously creating and piloting innovative strategies to engage in and expand upon the necessary training, development and education of the future semiconductor workforce. Learn more about the partnership.

Enhancing quantum computing education
At its annual Innovation conference in September, Intel announced that an Ohio State University team received a grant to develop curriculum focused on quantum science and engineering.

The funding is part of Intel’s academic program that will create a community of developers to explore programming applications for quantum computing. Universities will develop quantum course curricula to proliferate the use of the Intel® Quantum Software Developer Kit (SDK), a full-stack software development kit optimized for executing hybrid algorithms. In addition to Ohio State, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pennsylvania, Deggendorf Institute of Technology and Keio University also received grants.

Led by Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Ron Reano, the Ohio State faculty working group includes Computer Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Syedah Zahra Atiq. To enable broad dissemination, they will partner with the National Science Foundation-funded QuSTEAM Initiative, a multi-institution effort led by Ohio State to develop a diverse and effective workforce by creating more equitable pathways to quantum science education. The faculty also will partner with qBraid, a cloud-based platform for learning about quantum information and programming on quantum computers. Learn more.

Categories: ResearchStudents