The Route

Kelly Dack

Help navigating career decisions is part of the value of PCEA.

In this month’s column, I extend an overview of two recently held PCEA chapter meetings and give a nod to two interesting presenters who gave their time to cover relevant topics. Next, I hand it off to PCEA chairman Steph Chavez who relates a recent personal career “crossroads” experience and shares what gave him the hope and confidence to carry on. This month, I am excited to provide our readers with a growing list of events coming in 2021.

Chapter Updates

The Michigan Chapter held a highly anticipated kickoff meeting on Feb. 24. Chapter chairman Dugan Karnazes welcomed an international online audience to the meeting and spoke about the excitement and anticipation of bringing local area printed circuit engineers together to learn alongside a greater audience. The featured speaker for the event was Terry Munson, owner of Foresite, who presented The Forensics of Dendrite Shorting. Munson offered his definition of cleanliness, then described no less than 16 sources of contamination that cause dendritic shorts on PCBAs and offered mitigation techniques (FIGURE 1).

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Read more: Cleaning Up

Kelly Dack

The chairman and chairman emeritus describe the past and future. 

In this month’s column, the chairman and chairman emeritus for the PCEA give their viewpoints on the importance of organizing. And as always, I’ll provide a list of events coming up.

PCEA Updates

This month I am excited to bring to our readers an inspiring message from not one but two of the PCEA’s chairmen.

Many readers may not know that our PCEA board has two chairmen by design. Our idea from the beginning has been to preserve the experience from our past organizational associations and use it as our compass as we move ahead.

Steph Chavez serves as PCEA’s chairman. Steph’s primary interest is to lead this organization into a future that respects the ideas and efforts – the legacy – of those who have served the electronics industry so well in the past. To fulfill that interest, Steph relies on his counterpart, chairman emeritus Gary Ferrari, for his wisdom and experience. Gary’s compass was magnetized by a career of serving the electronics industry and bringing together and leading electronics industry professionals.

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Kelly Dack

Musings on land patterns and moon landings.

In this month’s column, I celebrate the importance of the humble PCB component footprint. I suggest that creating and leaving positive professional footprints on all we do in the Printed Circuit Engineering Association is imperative to the success of our industry. Next, I hand it off to PCEA Chairman Steph Chavez for some inspiring words as we tread into the new year. And as always, I provide a list of events coming up.

PCEA Updates

Not a day goes by that I don’t come across hundreds of footprints. Not all are related to electronic components used in PCB design. Around a cattle ranch, for instance, some are left by turkeys, deer, cattle and other outdoor critters as they go about their daily business foraging for food in the snow. Some footprints are my own, which I make as I go about my daily business taking care of outside chores. Sometimes I make “bad” footprints, tracking them into the kitchen if I fail to shed my Muck Boots in the mud room before entering. These are hardly lasting footprints, as I’d like to point out. They are made without much thought and quickly fade with the next snowfall or the wipe of a mop across the floor.

Lasting footprints are quite different.

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Read more: Footprints: Small Steps with a Giant Impact

Kelly Dack

Applying sound science to circuit board design through test.

In this month’s column, I share a few terms I’ve been contemplating lately, which I have been trying to put in the context of the role of the PCEA within the electronics industry. Next, I hand it off to PCEA Chairman Steph Chavez for some inspiration for the fresh start of the year. And finally, I provide a list of coming events.

PCEA Updates

You may have noticed the use of three concepts mentioned extensively in 2020: “believe the science and data,” “speak truth to power,” and consider “systemic” causes for problems.

These concepts were associated with some particularly challenging, if not nasty, displays of societal failure in 2020. It has been easy for us to see how, in an agitated and perhaps desperate social climate, a time-consuming, methodical approach to collecting data and applying them to science can give way to convenient conspiracy theory. Speaking truth to power got some people fired overnight. The term systemic was used to point to long-term causes for some particularly blatant failures of a society to prepare people for success.

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Read more: Oh, That Radical PCB Engineering Conspiracy Theory

Kelly Dack

A successful first year promises even bigger things to come.

 

In this month’s forward-driving column, I glance back at PCEA’s year in “rearview,” which included an energetic jump-start, some challenging air filter retrofitting, some remote diagnostics, and a final refueling at a successful virtual chapter meeting. Next, I hit cruise control and rely on PCEA Chairman Stephen Chavez, who focuses on what lies ahead between the vanishing points of highways 2020 and 2021. As always, I’ll also point out some interesting events for you to consider attending.

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Read more: PCEA 2020: Small Rearview Mirror, Big Windshield

Kelly Dack

Some of our favorite subject-matter experts explain what motivates them.

In this month’s column I introduce a few of our inspiring women PCEA leaders. Next, PCEA chairman Stephen Chavez offers his take on the importance of diversity in a collective organization. As always, I include our list of professional development opportunities and events. Last, I tease some upcoming coverage on one of the PCEA’s educational networking events.

PCEA Updates

One of the most inspiring events I’ve had the opportunity to cover over the past decade was an early morning Women in Electronics at IPC Apex Expo. This event brings together women in the electronics industry to join their colleagues across the supply chain to network, share ideas, and discuss career experiences. It is an opportunity for women in the industry to learn from and inspire one another.

Recently, I’ve appreciated that within our PCEA meetings, we experience that same zeal with our executive staff every time we convene. It is not difficult to realize the impact of leadership by women in electronics in the PCEA. Many of our leaders – including women – reach out, team up, and work together to tackle many of the tough tasks that must be accomplished as the PCEA moves forward.

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Read more: PCEA and Women Industry Leaders
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