Purdue’s strategy for microelectronics is based on three pillars: R&D, workforce development, and business growth. We welcome industrial partners who want to engage and grow with us. Contact us for a meeting and visit our campus to learn how you can engage in research projects, hire our interns and graduates, and establish a presence in Indiana.
Research and Development Excellence
Purdue research in semiconductors spans the full stack from materials and devices, to circuits, systems, architecture, and advanced packaging. Examples are advanced packaging and heterogeneous integration, new architectures for information processing, new memory technologies, and the limits of DRAM and NAND scaling. Purdue is one of a select few universities with a b faculty concentration in semiconductors, and more faculty will be hired to bolster connections to valued industry partners and priority research areas. In addition to many b single-investigators, Purdue also leads several center-scale efforts including three of the six currently-funded SRC centers: C-BRIC, CHIRP, New Limits.
Purdue has a long history of leadership in semiconductors beginning with Professor Karl Lark-Horovitz, whose group grew the Ge crystals that Bell Labs used to demonstrate the first transistor, and alumni like John (Mohamed) Atalla, who co-invented the Si MOSFET at Bell Labs, and George M. Scalise, a semiconductor pioneer who served as president of the Semiconductor Industry Association for 14 years.
Supporting and enhancing the university’s cross-cutting research excellence are several state-of-the art research facilities, such as the Birck Nanotechnology Center, a 186,000 square foot facility that includes the Scifres Nanofabrication Laboratory, the second largest university cleanroom (25,000 sf, 20% class 1, the remainder is class 10,100 and 1000).
Purdue receives b R&D funding from governmental sponsors like DoD, NIST, and NSF; a significant portion of the research portfolio is sponsored by industry partners. Purdue is capable to handle confidential and classified research programs.
For more details on our R&D programs, research centers, and faculty, click here.
Purdue’s reputation as a R&D trailblazer is matched by its leadership in workforce development. As the largest university out of the top 5 ranked in the U.S. to award bachelor’s degrees in engineering, Purdue is a mecca for hiring talent. At the undergraduate and graduate levels, there are more than 250 postdocs, PhDs, Master’s candidates, and domestic undergraduate students who are specially trained in microelectronics.
Purdue is the first U.S. university to launch a comprehensive set of programs - minors and concentrations for undergraduates, Masters programs, and certificates, that will help address the nation’s critical need for microelectronics engineers. Learn more about degrees here.
The undergraduate experience will begin with “Semiconductors 101” and a guarantee of internships or Co-Op experiences to semiconductor undergrads who can then continue on to semiconductor minors and concentrations and a 5-year BS/MS program that will give students additional semiconductor knowledge and experience. A new interdisciplinary MS degree will be the only such degree focused entirely on semiconductors and microelectronics offered at any of the top-10 ranked Engineering Colleges in the country. These credentials and degrees will be available both for on-campus and online students.
Purdue runs one of the largest and best undergraduate internship and Co-Op programs in the nation. Besides the inaugural semiconductor suite of degrees, Purdue has also created a Learning While Working program, enabling students to work towards their degrees while working full time. Let us know if you are interested to join the growing number of companies subscribing to this model which runs in parallel to internships and Co-Ops.
Purdue University is leading the Scalable Asymmetric Lifecycle Engagement (SCALE),a five-year, DoD-sponsored national initiative aimed at addressing the urgent need to develop a highly skilled U.S. microelectronics workforce to bolster national security. Comprising 17 partner universities across the country, SCALE is a $19.2 million public-private-academic partnership formed to advance the technical capabilities of the domestic microelectronics workforce, and to motivate talented STEM undergraduate and graduate students to pursue federal government careers in the semiconductor field. SCALE is being managed in partnership with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC- Crane) as a nationally coordinated network of government, industry and university partners.
Purdue is a business-minded university with an interwoven industry, academic, and social ecosystem. Bringing more microelectronics manufacturing to Indiana is a high priority and Purdue is working with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) on both regional and federally funded programs that are being targeted at semiconductor manufacturing.
Our partners enjoy nationally recognized research, cutting-edge innovation, and collaborative Midwest hospitality. Purdue University created the Discovery Park District at Purdue for industry partners to thrive and meet their goals. Discovery Park District is a master plan community where forward-thinking companies, families and individuals come to live, work, learn, play and grow in a dynamic, interactive community focused on innovation. The District is over 400 acres, $1-billion-plus of purpose-driven community designed as a live, work, learn, and play micro-urban environment adjacent to the university's West Lafayette, Indiana campus.
The District Core surrounds the Discovery Park research complex and is the iconic heart and social hub of the innovation ecosystem, offering the widest mix of uses including: Innovation Spaces (co-working, office, lab, and maker); retail options; multiple housing options for employee attraction and retention; and abundant parking. Rolls Royce, Saab, and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories are the first of a growing set of companies locating in Discovery Park District.
The Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) supports Purdue University's land-grant mission to improve the world through its technologies and graduates. PRF moves ideas to the marketplace, patents and commercializes technologies, protects Purdue's intellectual property, and provides connections and placemaking opportunities for industry. PRF is building places of intention to encourage innovation, invention, investment, and entrepreneurship with Purdue resources and talent. The university and PRF are working with multiple microelectronic industry firms to form a technology cluster within the Discovery Park District at Purdue.
Purdue’s entrepreneurial culture, fostered by campus infrastructure such as thePurdue Research Foundation Foundry and the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, provides support and training that includes the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country and the nation’s third longest-running business plan competition. With 175 utility patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2020, Purdue ranks #6 in the world for utility patents and #1 in the Big Ten conference. The IP Watchdog Institute report covering data from 2008 to 2018 ranked Purdue 3rd in the U.S. for startup creation. In 2020, the U.S. News & World Report named Purdue the 5th most innovative university in the U.S.
Below is a selection of companies that hire Purdue graduates and partner with our faculty on projects.
Deere & Co.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
ZF Friedrichshafen AG (TRW)