Ningbo integrated circuit design students offered jobs by Sondrel

06 Sep 2013 13:13:56.623

Twenty one students from The University of Nottingham’s Ningbo Campus (UNNC) who have just completed a unique training course in the design of integrated circuits, have all been offered jobs by Sondrel.

A subset of electrical and computer engineering, integrated circuits are crucial in the manufacture of digital devices such as computers and mobile phones. 

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Skills shortage
Sondrel, a British based integrated circuits (IC) design services consultancy for the semiconductor industry, identified that there was a shortage of skilled IC designers in China, and approached The University of Nottingham’s Ningbo Campus (UNNC) for support in developing a bespoke course, aimed at plugging the skills gap.

A three-month training programme was devised, in conjunction with Sondrel and UNNC, to help address the severe shortage of qualified IC designers in the region.

The programme was delivered by UNNC engineering staff and Sondrel engineers at the newly created Nottingham-Sondrel School of VLSI Design in Ningbo. Third year UNNC students and recent graduates with relevant qualifications and professional experience were eligible to apply for the programme.

In addition, software worth $10m was donated by Sondrel's partner company, Mentor Graphics, a leader in electronic design automation software, to support the training.

A long term partnership
Speaking about the course, Professor Chris Rudd, Pro-Vice Chancellor for External Engagement at The University of Nottingham, said: “This first IC training programme has proven to be very successful, and we are very much looking forward to partnering with Sondrel to run other such programmes in the future, providing many more talented students with the skills required by the rapidly growing Chinese Integrated Circuit industry.

"I also want to thank the China Britain Business Council for their help and support in developing the partnership between the University and Sondrel.”

Graham Curren, CEO of Sondrel, added: “We are delighted to see the first intake of students successfully complete the programme. The course is proving to be very popular and includes modules on Digital System Design, Verilog HDL & FPGA design, ARM 7 architectures, IP Integration and Validation, SystemVerilog for Validation and SystemVerilog for Assertion. A physical design course also runs alongside these modules.”

Sondrel has offices in seven countries throughout Europe and Asia, including Shanghai. For more information about the company, visit

The next IC course is planned to start in October. For more details, contact the University’s Asia Business Centre on

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For more information about this press release, contact Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager, Business Engagement and Innovation Services, University of Nottingham. Tel: 0115 82 32184, or email

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK’s Top 10 and the World’s Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.

Story credits

For more details about the course, contact Sarina Liu at the University of Nottingham's Ningbo Campus (UNNC) 
Nick King  

Nick King - Marketing and Communications Manager, Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 74 86727 Location: Coates Building, Faculty of Engineering, University Park Nottingham

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