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Purdue Partners with IIT Madras to Create Semiconductor Dual-Degree Program

Purdue University and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) will soon launch a dual-degree master’s program in semiconductors as part of a newly signed agreement to cooperate in education and research in semiconductors and microelectronics.

The proposed dual-degree program will be designed to ramp up skilled talent for the next generation of the semiconductor workforce. It will focus on an innovative, cooperatively developed curriculum to meet the industry’s growing needs. Undergraduate students with strong academic credentials and deep interest in working on topics related to semiconductor devices, chip fabrication, and circuits and systems will be candidates for the future master’s program.

“Purdue University is home to over 2,700 students from India, and Purdue has a long and deep strategic partnership with India and IIT Madras in particular,” said Mung Chiang, Purdue president-elect when the agreement was announced. “We recently launched the first comprehensive Semiconductor Degrees Program (SDP) with the goal of becoming the top source of skilled semiconductor talent for the U.S. We are thrilled to be partnering with IIT Madras on these dual-degree programs to rapidly contribute to the workforce needs of the large semiconductor industry in both the U.S. and India.”

On Nov. 3 at IIT Madras, officials from both institutions signed a letter of intent agreeing to the collaboration. V. Kamakoti, director of IIT Madras and professor of computer science and engineering; Nagendra Krishnapura, professor and head of the IIT Madras Department of Electrical Engineering; and Raghunathan Rengaswamy, dean of global engagement, represented IIT Madras. Representing Purdue were Chiang; Dimitrios Peroulis, the Michael and Katherine Birck Head and Reilly Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Vijay Raghunathan, professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of semiconductor education; and Arvind Raman, then-executive associate dean of Purdue’s College of Engineering.

“The India Semiconductor Mission looks at the large-scale development and deployment of microelectronics products,” said Kamakoti. “This joint initiative with Purdue will certainly augment our quality human resource development efforts in semiconductor electronics.”

The partnership also calls for research collaboration in areas such as semiconductor supply-chain management, chip design, packaging, system architecture, and advanced manufacturing methods.

“The Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University and the Department of Electrical Engineering at IIT Madras have forged particularly strong bonds over many areas in the past,” Peroulis said. “We are delighted to join forces again to address common critical needs in semiconductors and microelectronics.”

Nagendra Krishnapura said the new dual degree will offer students both knowledge and autonomy: “IIT Madras has world-class faculty in the area of semiconductors, from electronic devices to circuits and systems. This new dual-degree program in semiconductors will give students a solid foundation in these areas, while also giving them the freedom and flexibility to specialize in their chosen area of interest. We also expect the program to open new avenues for collaboration in research and teaching with Purdue University in these areas.”

Emphasizing the significance of the two institutions’ collaboration, Vijay Raghunathan of Purdue added: “The semiconductor industry worldwide is facing a tremendous shortage of talent. Purdue and IIT Madras are implementing an innovative program to address this gap by enhancing the best human and curricular resources and leveraging the complementary strengths of the faculty at the two institutions.”

Other aspects of the collaboration include exchange of faculty and research scholars and collaborative research and discovery, learning and teaching, and engagement.