Daily Record Staff//March 21, 2023
//March 21, 2023
With the release of Maryland Gov. Wes Moore’s fiscal year 2024 budget, Morgan State University has secured an additional $6.8 million in state funding to support the launch of two new research centers that will develop and drive innovation in the design and fabrication of semiconductors and address the challenges facing public school education.
The university’s Center for Research and Education in Microelectronics and the National Center for the Elimination of Educational Disparities (NCEED) will receive $3.1 million and $3.7 million respectively in annual state appropriations, beginning July 1. The University will now operate a total of nine state-funded research centers with five having been launched over the past five years. Once fully operational, both centers will have the capacity to employ up to 25 new faculty members.
Housed within the School of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the new center will use its funding to support education and research centered on the design and fabrication of microchips. In addition, the center will focus on training and workforce development in semiconductor manufacturing, preparing students to become the industry’s next generation of professionals.
The microchips, also referred to as integrated circuits (ICs), are an essential component of everyday life and can be commonly found in electronic devices, smartphones, radios, TVs, computers, video games, military equipment, and advanced medical diagnostic equipment.
The center will augment its equipment base with a new state-of-the-art “clean room” and tools designed to assist with research initiatives that focus on the design, manufacturing, packaging, and testing of semiconductors. Chip manufacturing is a complex process that require sterile environments meeting ISO 14644-1 Class 4-6 specifications. To accommodate this complex fabrication process, Morgan is renovating approximately 3,600-square-feet of laboratory space.
To attract potential students, the University will expand outreach to local community colleges and continuing education students offering workforce development opportunities to learn hands-on experience that will allow them to enter the semiconductor industry. The projects will be developed in partnership with local industries to give students a rich and practical experience.