UTA doctoral student earns prestigious Semiconductor Research Corp. fellowship

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 • Media Contact : Herb Booth

Allison Osmanson, a doctoral student in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Arlington, is the recipient of a prestigious fellowship from the Semiconductor Research Corp.

Allison Osmanson
Allison Osmanson

The company named fellowship, in partnership with Texas Instruments, funds tuition and fees for three years, plus a generous monthly stipend. In addition, two Texas Instruments employees will be technical advisers for Osmanson to give her more in-depth knowledge of where industry is headed and help her shape her study to best match industry interests.

“This is a very competitive fellowship. It’s humbling that they selected me. I’m hoping to work in the microelectronics industry after I earn my degree, and I know that what I learn through this fellowship will be put to good use in my career,” Osmanson said.

Osmanson is the first UTA student to earn an SRC fellowship. She has two research projects assigned to her through the fellowship. Both involve microelectronics packaging with a specific focus in electromigration, which is the migration of electrons through conductors that can cause electrical failures within components. An example of microelectronics packaging is the green plastic board onto which electronic parts are soldered in solid-state electronics such as cell phones.

The SRC supports university research into common current and future problems in microelectronics. SRC Fellows have to work on SRC-funded grants, be excellent academically, be U.S. citizens or be permanent residents.

“A lot of leaders in the microelectronics industry are former SRC fellows, so this will have a major impact on Allison’s future,” said Choong-Un Kim, a professor of materials science and engineering and Osmanson’s faculty adviser. “In addition to the obvious financial benefits, this fellowship will help her better tune her research direction to what industry needs, and she will make valuable contacts with people at companies such as Texas Instruments, Intel, IBM and others.”

Allison Osmanson
Allison Osmanson

Osmanson’s fellowship is an example of how UTA serves students by transforming the student experience by enhancing access and ensuring success and by engaging in high-impact research and scholarship, two guiding aspirations with the University’s Strategic Plan 2020, said Stathis Meletis, chair of the Materials Science and Engineering Department.

“I was very pleased to learn that Allison earned an SRC fellowship. It is a highly prestigious award, and she is very deserving. As electronics become increasingly smaller, packaging is increasingly important. Allison’s work with Dr. Kim and his research group will continue to discover better ways to create packaging that is robust and able to handle the stresses of modern electronics,” Meletis said.

Kim’s Electronic Materials Laboratory performs research in microelectronics and packaging, focusing largely on failures in interconnect structures, especially in solder joints and materials used for the interconnects, or metal conductors that conduct current between structures on a chip. 

The Materials Science and Engineering Department has long been at the forefront of emerging materials technology, discovering new materials and offering innovative curricula in advanced material, including materials for energy, electronics, bioapplications and nanotechnology. The department is the oldest, largest and most diversified in North Texas and offers courses in nanoscale materials and nanotechnology, magnetic, optical and energy materials, bio/nano materials and surface engineering and thin film technology. Research includes the areas of micro/nano electronic devices, self-assembled nanomaterials, multifunctional, nanocomposite thin films, bio/nanomagnets, optoelectronics, solar cells and materials for clean energy, advanced lubricants and coatings.

-- written by Jeremy Agor