Charles Hutchins Educational Grant

Application Deadline is April 24, 2020

The SMTA is accepting applications for the 2020 Charles Hutchins Educational Grant. This $8,000 grant, given in memory of Charles Hutchins, past president of the SMTA, educator, mentor, and distinguished industry colleague, was established in 1998 to encourage graduate students to pursue careers in the electronics industry, by developing closer ties between student research and the needs of the electronics industry.

The Hutchins grant, co-sponsored by SMTA and Circuits Assemblymagazine, has been awarded annually since 1998 to a graduate-level student pursuing a degree and working on thesis research in electronic assembly, electronics packaging, or a related field. The grant is intended for the purchase of technical books and research materials, for participation in conferences related to electronics assembly and packaging, and for living expenses if necessary. $105,000 has been awarded to grant recipients since 1998.


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2020 Grant Winner Announced

Chidinma is pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. Her research examines bonding various power electronic substrates including Aluminum Nitride (AlN) and Direct Bonded Copper (DBC) to Aluminum Silicon Carbide (AlSiC) heat sinks through transient liquid phase bonding using a Copper-Aluminum binary system. This research addresses the thermal and reliability issues of power electronic devices by eliminating interface layers with low thermo-mechanical performance, reducing the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) mismatch between materials, and introducing cooling enhancement features closer to the heat source.

She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2013, and a Master’s degree in 2015 from Southern University, Baton Rouge. Her NASA funded master’s research explored Shape Memory Polymer Composites and Carbon Nanotechnology designed for Aerospace Systems. She is the current president of the Georgia Tech Student Chapter of SMTA, Career Peer Advisor, former Engineering Council Representative for NSBE, Golden Oaks Award winner and two-time recipient of the UIU International Scholar Award. As the fundraising committee chair for the non-profit UIU Atlanta, she helped organize charity events that raised thousands in funds to buy books, clothing, food, and medical supplies for 14 orphanages in Nigeria.  

Following completion of her doctoral program at Georgia Tech, she plans to leverage her technical and research background working in Surface Mount Technology on the fabrication and reliability assessment of electronic packages. With the skills she obtains in industry along with her academic knowledge and training, she hopes to return to academia to instruct at a higher institution and help inspire the next generation of engineers and problem solvers. 

We are honored to present Chidinma Imediegwu as the 2020 Charles Hutchins Grant Recipient.*

*The award will be presented in person at the 2021 SMTA Annual Meeting during the live SMTA International Conference.


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