What is your educational background?
Andrew earned his bachelor of science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Did you consider other institutions for the program, and why did you choose Illinois?
For decades, Illinois has been at the cutting edge in the field of semiconductor processing, many of which rely on plasmas. The plasma engineering program at UIUC is one of the first of its kind to offer a tailored curriculum for students wanting to enter the semiconductor industry and work with plasma technology – which appealed to me a great deal. Plus, having a chance to see HIDRA in person helped my decision too!
What made you decide to pursue Plasma Engineering?
Learning new technologies was always my favorite part of being an engineering student. Plasma enhanced processes, whether they be etching or deposition, were two exciting technologies I wanted learn more about and become skilled in. My bachelors in chemical engineering offered the background knowledge needed to understand these processes, but the plasma engineering program offers the chance for hands on work to become proficient with these processes.
What type of professional development you want to complete as part of the degree program (project, practicum, or coursework), and why?
I’m looking forward to working on a capstone project next semester. I believe hands-on work is the fastest way to learn the ins and outs of any topics, particularly for people looking to enter industry.
What do you hope to do with the degree once you earn it?
Contribute to innovations in the semiconductor industry as a process engineer and work with plasma technology in a high volume manufacturing context.
What is your favorite place in Champaign-Urbana?
Climbing wall at the ARC.