M. Rosman and M. Osterman
A new specialization at the graduate level in Electronic Packaging and Reliability (EPAR) at the University of Maryland is described. This program was initiated to meet the growing industrial need for interdisciplinary expertise in the area of electronic packaging. Initially introduced on a trial basis, it was overwhelmingly approved as a regular program by the Mechanical Engineering faculty in 1993. Currently, a framework of appropriate coursework, examinations and research projects leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees is in place. In order to meet the coursework requirements for these degrees, new introductory and specialized course have been developed at three levels. The first level core course serve as the entry points into the graduate program. More focused courses are offered at the second and third levels. Students in the EPAR program are generally required to take half of the academic credits from these courses and the other half as traditional engineering core courses. There is considerable flexibility in accommodating diverse undergraduate backgrounds. Also, with appropriate choice of core and specialized courses, graduate programs with various specializations are easily designed. These areas of specialization within EPAT include Mechanics, vibrations, reliability, thermal engineering and computer aided design. In order to effectively respond to the evolving nature of the field, the EPAT course are kept current by strong industrial participation. Many of the specialized graduate courses include guest lectures by industrial experts. Currently, approximately twenty students are enrolled in the EPAR program. Despite the generally tough employment market for engineering graduates, students graduating from this program have enjoyed bright prospects.
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