Catalonia launches a new Master's in Semiconductors and Microelectronic Design

Catalan Economy

05 Apr 2024

The new Master’s course, coordinated by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and conducted entirely in English, will launch in the coming academic year of 2024-2025.

Roger Torrent, the Catalan government’s Minister for Business and Labour, alongside Joaquim Nadal, the Minister for Research and Universities, have presented Catalonia's first Master's in Semiconductors and Microelectronic Design, coordinated by the UPC. Collaborating in this new program are the University of Barcelona (UB), the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), and the Rovira i Virgili University (URV), with strategic support from the Barcelona Microelectronics Institute (IMB-CNM-CSIC).

“Without talent, there is no chip industry”

Roger Torrent, Minister of Business and Labour of Catalonia.

Minister Roger Torrent emphasized, "From within the government, we've worked towards positioning Catalonia in the semiconductor sector, attracting investments, fostering its ecosystem here, and aiming to become a benchmark in Europe."

He further stated, "If Catalonia aspires to be an international hub for semiconductors, it must also aspire to become a hub of talent in this field", emphasizing that "without talent, there is no chip industry".

Along these lines, he also added, "We will continue to promote initiatives like this Master's program, which allow us to align educational offerings with the talent needs of Catalonia's semiconductor and chip industry, achieved via collaboration between the government and our business sector".

Minister Joaquim Nadal also highlighted that the launch of the new Master's program "is a specific response to a request from companies and research and innovation stakeholders involved in the Semiconductor and Chip Alliance of Catalonia. The course will be launched in the coming school year, organized around a collaboration between 4 universities, headed by the UPC, demonstrating the willingness and capacity of Catalonia’s knowledge system". Minister Nadal also emphasized the program's effect on retaining and attracting scientific talent.

The event also saw participation from the Secretary for Business and Competitiveness, Albert Castellanos, the Head of Studies of the Master's program (ETSETB-UPC), Antonio Rubio, the General Director of Cisco Spain & Portugal, Andreu Vilamitjana, and the co-founder & CTO of IMASENIC, Adrià Bofill. The rectors of the four universities involved in the project also intervened: Joan Guàrdia (UB), Javier Lafuente (UAB), Daniel Crespo (UPC), and Josep Pallarès (URV).

The new Master's program will commence in the academic year 2024-2025, offering 30 places, consisting of 60 ECTS credits, and will be conducted in English. It aims to urgently address the need for professionals in the semiconductor field.

The program offers two specializations:

  1. Semiconductor Engineering, where students will be trained in the use of microelectronic chip technologies in various aspects, such as clean room manufacturing, encapsulation, reliability characterization and analysis, as well as understanding the physical phenomena occurring in current and emerging semiconductor devices.
  2. Microelectronic Design, which aims to train students in the design of integrated digital and analog circuits and systems using advanced technologies.

The Master's program will also provide professional internship opportunities in technology companies to complement the educational offer and boost student employability whilst meeting the demands of the microelectronics industry.

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