June 6, 2011 — Vol. 27 No. 23
Idaho State University has received a multi-million dollar specialized equipment donation from ON Semiconductor to help enhance the engineering department's research capabilities in the areas of materials growth and characterization. The equipment donated includes a semiconductor etching system and specialized equipment that enables enhancement of separate effects testing.
"With the university's recent purchase of the Ballard Building, we are now able to gladly accept and utilize research equipment that would otherwise be unaffordable," said George Imel, dean of Idaho State University's College of Science and Engineering. "The generous donation of equipment from ON Semiconductor will allow us to increase the educational experience for our students while expanding research opportunities."
Eric Burgett, ISU assistant professor, department of nuclear engineering, was pleased with the generous donation.
"This equipment will provide ISU faculty and students the ability to examine neutrons, gamma rays, heat pressure and temperature variances in nuclear fuel," said Burgett. "It has specific relevance for applications for INL (Idaho National Laboratory) and the Department of Energy in the areas of crystal growth and nanotechnology research as well as applications in advanced radiation detection. With this additional equipment, we will be able to grow various materials such as transparent semi-conductors. The application of this ability will be felt in the areas of low-voltage lighting, solar cells and radiation detectors."
In making the donation announcement, John Spicer, site manager for ON Semiconductor's Pocatello facility, talked about the positive synergistic relationship the Phoenix-based company and Idaho State University have forged.
"We are proud to be residents of the ISU Research and Business Park," said Spicer. "We have enjoyed a long and excellent relationship with ISU in numerous ways, including working closely with the university's engineering department, receiving technical training for our local employees, and hiring ISU graduates for our growing Pocatello workforce."
In light of the university's recent acquisition of the Ballard Building for use as a research facility, ON Semiconductor noted that it made sense to donate the equipment for use in the Idaho Joint Research Center. While the company no longer has a need for the equipment, which originally cost several million dollars, the technology will be invaluable to ISU and the Center.
"This is only the beginning of a synergistic relationship with ISU and the applicable projects that will be developed in the Idaho Joint Research Center," said Robert Richway, project manager for ON Semiconductor in Pocatello. "Future projects and opportunities are currently being defined and we look forward to being a part of that development process."
According to Imel, acquiring donated equipment is just a first-step in fulfilling ISU President Arthur Vailas' vision to expand our research portfolio.
"With the Ballard Building serving as home to the Idaho Joint Research Center," said Imel, "ISU has an outstanding opportunity to build a world-class research facility that will attract the brightest and best faculty and students in the sciences and engineering disciplines, but it will enable us to attract partnerships worldwide."