Dynex Semiconductor was looking for some extra technical expertise in systems and applications for their range of high reliability IGBTs (insulated gate bipolar transistors).
Taking on extra staff wasn’t an option at the time, so the company looked to fill the gaps in its knowledge through other channels.
The University of Nottingham looked at how Dynex could benefit from the University’s expertise in power electronics systems and a KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) was suggested. This would help to transfer knowledge between Dynex and the University.
A KTP graduate was appointed, and was so successful that he has recently been offered full-time employment with Dynex, working on some significant new projects.
A 10-year working relationship with The University of Nottingham really came to the fore when semiconductor company Dynex needed to explore some new opportunities for one of its divisions.
A leading manufacturer and designer of industrial high-powered semiconductors, Dynex’s products are used to improve reliability and quality in a number of industrial areas, including power generation, transmission and distribution systems, marine and rail electric drives, and industrial motor drives and controls.
“My business division manufactures systems, rather than semiconductors – we take the devices which are produced in our wafer fabrication, test and assembly operations, and we build them into more complex assemblies,” explains Bill McGhie of Dynex. “This makes us an added-value area of the over all business, so we’re always looking for new things we can do with our semiconductors by utilising best thermal management techniques and peripheral components.”
“We have been supplying these types of systems for many years, utilising our GTO and thyristor devices, and we were keen to continue to extend our knowledge, particularly in systems utilising controls on IGBTs (insulated gate bipolar transistors) applications.”
Help was at hand in the shape of a KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) with The University of Nottingham, who have a strong representation in power electronics systems in the UK. KTP’s are designed to identify a specific project and place an appropriate graduate in the company for up to three years to work on the project, operating between the company and the University. The aims are for the business to acquire the relevant knowledge and expertise they’re looking for, the KTP graduate to gain management and professional skills, and the University to enhance its business research portfolio.
“As we were looking for extra technical expertise the University suggested the KTP scheme and it couldn’t have been better timing,” says Bill. “We’ve worked with them for a number of years on several different projects, so we were happy to investigate any new ways that we could work together.
“The University’s KTP coordinators identified a number of suitable candidates and we carried out joint interviews. It was important that we found someone that fitted in well with Dynex and our plans, as well as being
Hardik spent just over two years working as a KTP graduate at Dynex, and his input has proved invaluable. He attended a number of overseas conferences and seminars on behalf of the company, proving a great ambassador.
Bill continues: “Hardik has brought some important new thinking to our company – for example, we now have a complete motor drive system up and running that uses our electronics and Hardik’s controls and software. He was a real asset, and at the end of the KTP we were keen to take him on as a full-time member of staff.
“Hardik is still in contact with the University, as we draw on their knowledge for certain areas – they have such a strong reputation in the power electronics field it’s great to be able to do this. I’d definitely take on another KTP graduate – in fact, I’ve already been in touch with the coordinators.”