August 2023 Newsletter



Hello members!

Our big news this month: PCEA has closed on the acquisition of the assets of PCBDesign-Edu, Inc., (dba PCE-EDU, Inc.), including its industry leading printed circuit designer training and certification program. The deal extends PCEA’s position as the leading association for training printed circuit engineers worldwide.

The transaction includes the Printed Circuit Engineering Professional curriculum and related Certified Printed Circuit Designer (CPCD) certification exam, licensing agreements and customer database, among other assets, including the 400-page handbook created by the PCE-EDU founders – Michael R. Creeden, Stephen V. Chavez, Gary Ferrari, Rick Hartley and Susy Webb.

The PCE-EDU founders developed the best training handbook I’ve ever seen for PCB design. There is tight overlap between PCEA and PCE-EDU’s respective missions and approaches. We feel strongly we will be able to expand on the work of the PCE-EDU founders and reach a larger audience for the CPCD curriculum.

For more information about the Certified Printed Circuit Designer program, visit

Also, we are pleased to announce Louis Feinstein will keynote PCB West this year. Lou is High Tech Industry Strategy Director, High-Tech at Dassault Systemes. He is a seasoned executive and visionary engineer with profound knowledge and experience in the high-tech market. His talk is titled Revolutionizing Electronics Cyber-Physical Systems: Unleashing the Power of MBSE and AI for Electronics System Design, and focuses on the next paradigm in Electronics Cyber-Physical Systems (ECPS) development.

For more on the keynote, which takes place September 20 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., and is free to all conference and expo registrants, see below under Education.

Mike Buetow
PCEA President


Local Chapters

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

SILICON VALLEY – Next meeting is August 30, from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at Siemens EDA, 46871 Bayside Parkway in Fremont. The topic is Leveraging Advanced Technologies to Accelerate Electronic Systems Design, and the speaker is David Wiens, Xpedition product manager, Siemens.

National News

Trace temperature video. Stop thinking about current density! In a new 30-minute video, available for free at Printed Circuit University, Doug Brooks and Dr. Johannes Adam explain the material parameters and properties that determine the temperature of a trace, how these are calculated, and show results of some simulations of vias of varying widths and amps.

Brooks and Adam are coauthors of several publications on trace and via temperatures, including “PCB Design Guide to Via and Trace Currents and Temperatures” and “Predicting Fusing Time of Overloaded PCB Traces Can We Predict It At All?”

Education committee. We are preparing the call for abstracts for PCB East 2024. We will have some examples of good (and incomplete) abstracts available at to help prospective speakers with their submissions.

The Conferences Task Group is headed by Troy Hopkins.

PCB East 2024 will take place June 2-5 in the Boston suburbs.

PCB West keynote. As noted above, Lou Feinstein will keynote PCB West this year. Says Lou: By leveraging model-based systems engineering (MBSE) and artificial intelligence (AI), we accelerate the design of electrical and electronic systems. MBSE streamlines integration, while AI-driven optimization ensures alignment with design intent and derived requirements. The synergy of MBSE and AI empowers efficient ECPS development, establishing new benchmarks in quality and speed. A use case will be showcased to validate the approach, paving the way for the future of ECPS.

Lou’s diverse background, which ranges from design systems to the assembly floor at leading companies like Dassault Systèmes, Textron and EMC, makes him ideal to explain the impacts of the array of coming technologies on the day-to-day operations of almost every engineer and production staffer. To register for the keynote and the other Free Wednesday sessions, visit

Sept. 20 is also the date of the one-day exhibition. This year’s show is sold out, so be sure to see the more than 100 companies on site — and grab a free lunch starting at 12 noon.

Reading Material

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

  • The heat is on. Thermal interface materials (TIM) are used between components to help with heat dissipation. Claire Wemp, Ph.D., a thermal applications engineer at DuPont, discusses the use of TIMs, as well as her involvement in the Society of Women Engineers.
  • A plethora of pitches. The evolution of integrated circuit package technology drove the electronics industry to its present state, but a closer look at the past reveals missed opportunities to create a more coherent set of IC standards, as well as lessons to be learned for future choices to improve design efficacy and product performance and reliability.
  • Cpk or Ppk? A look at using both capability indices. . Summary statistics can be misleading, but in different ways. Always graph your data.
  • Selectively assembling high-value components based on warpage in order to improve reliability. Surface warpage, or flatness, is an established source of reliability issues in surface mount devices, particularly when these surfaces are considered as they warp due to heat generated in production or real-world use. While measuring samples for thermal warpage is a common practice, an experimental concept is presented based on measuring warpage on SMD devices and the PCB landing areas where they would attach in assembly, then deciding which sample to place on which PCB.
  • Managing library and design data.Automating data maintenance and revision control.
  • Copper vs. CuNI for flexible heater elements. Voltage, heater size and material costs all factor into the decision process.

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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