March 2023 Newsletter



Hello members!

We are coming off a terrific year for PCEA, with growth in individual membership, our first corporate members, two successful trade shows and the return to live chapter meetings.

We have two special one-hour technical webinars coming up next month that are free for all PCEA members.

On April 11, Ethan Pierce will explain how to leverage assembled circuit boards without design data to be recovered and recreated. Often, end-of-life or existing systems have design data that are lost, abandoned, or of unknown origin, which is a rising concern among teams building or maintaining these systems. Using a set of software- and hardware- agnostic processes, this course analyzes a design of unknown origin and teaches attendees how to recreate that design with a set of commonly available tools.

Ethan Pierce is director of hardware engineering at Pierce Design, working with global customers to build and deploy IoT solutions. An electrical engineer by trade, Pierce has spent his career building consumer, medical, and defense connected products at leading hardware companies to leading IoT platform companies. His specialty is maintaining holistic design intent from concept to mass production, producing successful products at scale.

For details: click here.

On April 25, Richard Weiland of HZO, Inc., will present on real-world examples where significant product challenges were presented (such as humidity, temperature, or corrosion) and the investment of time and resources focused on device dependability and functional testing. Data analysis from industry standard testing methodologies as well as application-specific approaches will be presented to demonstrate how nanocoating solutions can provide the protection required for such end-use environments.

Richard Weiland is director of nanocoating applications for HZO, Inc. Weiland has a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from Bucknell University and an MBA from North Carolina State. Prior to joining HZO, he held process development, project engineering, and business development manager roles with Cormetech, a company that specializes in environmental pollution control and services.

For details: click here.

Registration is open for PCB East, featuring more than 60 hours of in-depth electronics engineering training. Lee Ritchey, Rick Hartley, Susy Webb and Dan Beeker are among the headliners of this year’s show. The conference will be held May 9 to 12 at the Boxboro Regency Hotel and Conference Center in Boxborough, MA. It features classes for every level of experience, from novice to expert. There is also a full day’s worth of free tech talks on May 10, the same day as the exhibition. Visit to register.

And be sure to see us at the Del Mar Electronics Show, where we are sponsoring a special tech session on April 26 on flex circuit design and manufacturing by Dave Lackey of American Standard Circuits, and the SMTA Atlanta Expo & Tech Forum, also on April 26.

Mike Buetow
PCEA President


Local Chapters

Please forward your chapter news to for inclusion on our website and in future newsletters.

ONTARIO, CANADA – PCEA will cosponsor a guided tour of the Eptech trade show in Toronto on May 9 ( Ata Syed of PFC Flexible Circuits and Nick Koop of TTM Technologies plan to invite students from various institutes and give a tour of the show from an industry point of view. Contact for details.

National News

EMC control workshop. . Rick Hartley will present a two-day workshop on high-speed and EMI control for printed circuit board design in the Atlanta area in early June. Visit or for details.

PCB West. We are in the last few days of accepting abstracts for PCB West 2023 technical conference. We have received about 70 abstracts to date. The Conference Task Group will meet multiple times this month with the goal to have the program finalized by the end of the month. PCB West takes place Sept. 19-22 at the Santa Clara (CA) Convention Center. There is a four-day technical conference of paid and free classes, with a one-day (Sept. 20) exhibition.

Reading Material

Highlights of the March issue of PCD&F/Circuits Assembly:

  • Permittivity vs. permeability: What’s the difference? Some areas of physics have considerable impact on our designs. Here we look at two physical properties of the dielectrics we work with, and why they are important to understand.
  • How interconnects work: characteristic impedance and reflections. Reflections in an interconnect degrade the transmitted signal, which may cause link failure. How to solve for the reflections caused by transmission line characteristic impedance and termination impedance mismatch.
  • A quick fix for fillet starvation. A typical problem for via-in-pad design is the creation of seemingly “starved” fillets when the via sucks up solder from pads at terminals during reflow. A simple solution to this problem is detailed.
  • Aligning six sigma tools with process reality. Identify the areas of variance in stencil design and adjust SPI programming accordingly.

Read it all here.

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The Education Committee receives requests each month for mentors. If you are open to helping coach colleagues looking to develop their design or engineering skills, or provide career advice, please let us know at

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