Foundations of the Future: Online Resources Offer Opportunities for Professional Growth

Online learning has been part of IPCEF efforts to share industry knowledge and skills since our launch in February of 2019. Let’s recap some of the ways to learn about the electronics manufacturing industry online.

Online Resources for IPC Student Chapter Members

The IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF) offers nine educational modules for student members on our website. These educational modules cover important industry-related topics such as:

  • Hand soldering
  • Electronics assembly
  • Wire harness assembly
  • Component identification
  • Terminology
  • Quality standards

The courses contain a series of videos and a final exam. Students receive a certificate of achievement on passing the final exam. These industry-standard educational modules add relevant skills and can be included in resumes, portfolios, LinkedIn profiles, and even discussed during interviews.

Currently, we’ve seen a drastic spike in IPC Student Members completing these modules. 472 certificates of achievement were granted to students, and the three most popular modules are component color codes, introduction to soldering, and component identification.

We like to reward hardworking students, so IPCEF will distribute BOSEbuild Headphones to students that complete a selected amount of modules. The IPC Education Foundation thanks the Bose Corporation for the donation.

In addition to the modules, IPC Student Members can access select IPC standards for continued education or project-based work. Since the start of 2020, nearly 200 students have taken advantage of this added benefit.

Utilizing exiting third-party resources for more continued education relating to printed circuit design, fabrication, or assembly, the IPCEF encouraged IPC Student Members to access the “Coatings Uncoated” webinar series provided by I-Connect007. The hour of free content on conformal coatings is a popular choice.

We’ve also published a list of free resources available to everyone. Check out our listing of STEM resources here.

Kate Stees.JPGValuable Tips From Young Engineers

What better way to learn from individuals immersed in electronics manufacturing careers. We gained insight into the industry by speaking with Kate Stees [1] and Arvind Karthikeyan [2].

Kate Stees is a materials and process engineer at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Ocala, Florida. Kate currently works in the failure analysis laboratory, supporting a range of electronic assembly related production issues, as well as research and development projects. She has worked for Lockheed Martin Ocala Operations for over seven years, starting as a quality engineer and transitioning to a manufacturing engineering role, supporting program assembly builds, and the automated processes areas. Kate is in her final year of the IPC Emerging Engineering Program and currently serves as vice-chair and A-team lead on the IPC-A-610 committee. Kate holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Central Florida.

Arvind Karthikeyan.JPGArvind Karthikeyan was born in India. After pursuing his undergraduate studies with a major in production engineering, he moved to the U.S. to continue his education toward a graduate degree as a Ph.D. Candidate at Auburn University, who is currently investigating the influence of high-reliability solder paste alloys on BGA solder joint reliability in harsh environments. His project will be part of his dissertation work and is being conducted at Universal Instruments in New York. Arvind is in his first year of the IPC Emerging Engineering Program.


Everybody’s journey into the industry is different. Find your passion, connect with like-minded individuals, and be proactive. It is important to continue building your skills, learn about employers within the industry that align well with your professional growth objectives, and stay tuned to industry needs.

Further Reading

  1. IPC Education Foundation, “Interview With Kate Stees: An Emerging Engineer,” April 1, 2020.
  2. IPC Education Foundation, “Interview With Arvind Karthikeyan: An Emerging Engineer,” April 6, 2020.

Editor’s note: Click here to read an interview with Arvind Karthikeyan by I-Connect007 Publisher Barry Matties from IPC APEX EXPO 2020.

Charlene Gunter du Plessis is the senior director of the IPC Education Foundation.





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