For 27-year-old graduate student, Waleed M. Ebrahim, his decision to come to the United States from the Kingdom of Bahrain, and attend The University of Texas-Pan American, was based not only on the cost of living and tuition, but in the quality of UTPA's electical engineering program. Ebrahim along with 14 electrical engineering students participating in the program, designed UTPA's first student integrated chip (IC), which is a necessity in all electronic devices.
The fabrication process began in fall 2007 by 11 undergraduate electrical engineering students, and was completed spring 2008 by four graduate students. The project was overseen by electrical engineering assistant professor, Dr. Hasina Huq. According to Huq, the impact of ICs on modern society has been pervasive. Without them, current computer, electronics systems and information technology revolution would not exist. Immense amount of signal and computer processing is realized in a single IC.
"The success of the project can be attributed to good planning at the beginning of the project, well maintained hardware and software tools, the students' enthusiastic attitude and most importantly, the spirit of teamwork. Most of the students at UTPA are first-generation college students, but all of them were enthusiastic, smart at work, maximized their effectiveness, learned the rules and met the deadlines. All of these measures indicate that UTPA students' quality is comparable to other students across the nation," Huq said.
Jesus Torres, a 24-year-old electrical engineer graduate student from McAllen, said he enjoys being a part of UTPA's electronic engineering program, because it allows him to practice what he and other students have learned in their theory classes.
"Students don't have to travel too far to get a grade A education. There's a lot of stuff here; HESTEC is coming up. They can come straight here, learn everything in class and practice it, like the project we did, and talk to companies when they come down for HESTEC. There's a lot of competition and a good environment here; they should take advantage of it," Torres said.
IC is currently being tested by students. For more information, contact Huq at 956/384-5017, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.