Webinar :Shortage of Skills and Opportunities in Microelectronics Industry

Date: 10th November 2023

Time: 13-14 pm via Zoom (link in Registration below)

The Advance Centre - Professional Education for Digital Transformation would like to invite you to our next in series lunchtime webinar.

Under the current theme of the European Year of Skills 2023 we continue insightful discussions between faculty experts and industry leaders how to leverage skills to support digital transformation and innovation. This time we focus on Shortage of Skills and Opportunities in Microelectronics industry”.

Recommendations and view from Industry:

Tom O’Dwyer “The EU Chips Act – a skills perspective”

With the recent enactment of the EU Chips by the European Parliament and Commission, over €40 billion will be invested in the semiconductor sector. The ambitious plan is to double the size of the sector by 2030. Ireland is already considered a leading nation in semiconductors, driven by foreign direct investment by companies such as Analog Devices and Intel, and if we act swiftly, will be well positioned to take advantage of the new investment. The Act will be implemented as three strategies which relate to bolstering manufacturing capability, identifying capability shortages, and above all promoting new startup companies and pilot lines. An essential component of the expansion will be addressing the skills shortage, with a target of doubling the number of people involved in circuit design and development by 2030. This presents new opportunities for universities and other organisations with experience in teaching circuit design techniques and tools. This talk will briefly outline the key elements of the Chips Act and identify the skills shortage aspects.

Gerry Byrne : MIDAS Skillnet – supporting Ireland’s IC Design Ecosystem

The Integrated Circuit Design sector is evolving and expanding robustly in Ireland, with regular announcements of new design centres, take overs and expansions of semiconductor companies here. IC design companies now include Intel, Analog Devices, Qualcomm, ON Semiconductor, AMD, Renesas, Synopsys, Cadence, Qorvo and many more.

While these companies compete with their IC products in the semiconductor market, they must also compete within their own companies to win R&D projects and secure FDI for design centres in Ireland, while also competing for engineering resources both against other international locations and other sectors in Ireland.

MIDAS Ireland established the MIDAS Skillnet in 2018 to enable collaboration within the sector for upskilling of IC designers in Ireland. It has grown strongly and this year it has organized 60 training courses with 900 training places booked by 26-member companies. Virtually every MNC and SME company here leverages the broadest offering of IC design training in Europe. IC design companies can now upskill recent entrants to various IC design and test roles by leveraging the MIDAS Skillnet – making Ireland a very attractive and productive location for both IC Design engineers and for microelectronic companies.

Faculty Response:

Our faculty experts Dr. Elena Blokhina  from UCD and Richard Gahan from TU Dublin will discuss solutions to the skills gaps in provision of flexible, accredited industry focused courses in quantum computing and digital design systems.

Areas such quantum computation and quantum inspired algorithms are a rapidly developing and ubiquitous in many domains of science, and educating students and professionals learners on this subject is extremely important. These modules are developed to explain the field of quantum computing to learners with a general STEM background, and the teaching style follows faculty own learning experience as researchers who develop qubits and design qubit control.

UCD is offering advanced training in analogue, RF, and mixed-signal design while TU Dublin is specialising in digital design and verification.



Dr. Elena Blokhina-has research interests that include quantum computing, semiconductor devices, quantum dots, microelectronic systems and multi-physics systems. Elena received the Habilitation HDR (equiv. D.Sc.) degree in electronic engineering from UPMC Sorbonne Universities, in 2017, the Ph.D. degree in physical and mathematical sciences and the M.Sc degree in physics from Saratov State University, in 2006 and 2002 respectively. Since 2007, she has been with the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering of University College Dublin, Ireland, and is currently an Associate Professor.

Dick Gahan, TU Dublin, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, has 20+ years’ experience designing digital systems involving IP routing, Ethernet switching and carrier Ethernet switching silicon. Products include 3Com Linkswitch family at 10/100/1Gbits port switches.
Digital system design using VHDL and Verilog; Simulation using Verilog-XL, & Modelsim. Synthesis using Synopsys, Synplify; FPGA system design with XILINX, Altera and Actel devices.

Tom O’Dwyer-as a veteran with over forty years’ experience in the semiconductor electronics sector, his expertise has spanned a wide range of skills from deep engineering development to worldwide marketing expertise. As head of new product development for precision converter products at Analog Devices Inc. he oversaw all aspects of the process including product definition, design, fabrication, testing and market launch. His worldwide teams at Limerick, Edinburgh, Spain and Bangalore released over a hundred products, may of which remain as market leaders even today. He later served as Director of Technology for Analog Devices Healthcare products and developed novel sensors for the medical diagnostics market which involved the new imaginative uses of traditional silicon. He also served for over a decade as a visiting scientist at MIT assisting in research into medical devices. He is currently CEO of a start-up company Analog Design Services. He is a graduate of UCD (B.E.  ’79) and holds a masters from University of Limerick (M.Eng ’84). He holds fourteen issued U.S. patents.

Gerry Byrne- a UCD electronic engineering graduate, began his career as IC designer at Bosch, in Reutlingen, Germany, designing analog smart power ICs for automotive applications.He returned to Ireland to grow and manage an analog design team at SSD. Later as Director of Central Engineering at Parthus, Gerry was responsible for the Central Engineering Services teams comprising Design Enablement, Layout, Silicon Evaluation, and IT.Gerry then founded edalics, a niche EDA budget management consultancy to IC design companies, which has benchmarked and improved productivity in design enablement for major semiconductor MNCs worldwide.In 2018, Gerry was instrumental in setting up the MIDAS Skillnet, which he continues to nurture and manage to facilitate strengthening Ireland’s IC design ecosystem.

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