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University partners with Sondrel to develop Chinese design talent

Sondrel Mentor Graphics

The University of Nottingham has launched a unique training programme which will enable Chinese students to become the integrated circuit (IC) designers of the future.

In the first partnership of its kind, the University will work with British company Sondrel, an IC design services consultancy for the semiconductor industry, to offer the three-month training programme at its University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) campus.

The programme was created after Sondrel identified a lack of IC designers in China with the skills the company needs to continue its rapid expansion. It is hoped the training will plug this talent gap and improve China’s ability to compete globally in the IC design market.

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

Delivered by UNNC engineering staff and Sondrel engineers at the Nottingham-Sondrel School of VLSI Design, the training will be open to third year UNNC students and recent graduates with relevant qualifications and professional experience. The first cohort of students will begin in June.

Students who complete the training will be offered a four-month internship at Sondrel, before being able to apply for a job at the company, which has offices in seven countries throughout Europe and Asia, including in Shanghai.

Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor at The University of Nottingham, said: “This unique training programme will educate future generations of IC designers.

“This is a really important initiative at a time when change gets faster and ever more rapid, so the need for effective talent development and training, in a life-long learning context, gets ever greater. I’m delighted that Sondrel have the confidence to work with us in Ningbo to develop a programme that is clearly of great importance to the company and its future success.”

Software worth $10m has been donated by Sondrel’s partner company, Mentor Graphics, a leader in electronic design automation software, to support the training.

Graham Curran, Chief Executive of Sondrel, said: “I’d like to thank all the people who have supported us in setting up this endeavour. I look forward to having a very successful school starting in the next couple of months.”

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