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NTNU and TSMC Team Up to Build Taiwan's Semiconductor Workforce
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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), a world leader in integrated circuit manufacturing services, has partnered with the NTNU College of Technology and Engineering to launch a Semiconductor certificate curriculum this semester. This industry-university collaborative initiative aims to integrate relevant coursework with practical industry experience, fostering the development of skilled professionals for Taiwan's semiconductor sector.

At an information session on February 22 introducing the highlights of the new program offering, NTNU Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Yeu-Ting Liu emphasized it program’s contribution to NTNU's advancement in the semiconductor field. The College of Technology and Engineering prioritizes industry collaboration with a commitment to aligning theoretical knowledge with practical application.

Dr. Liu further emphasized the collaborative effort between NTNU and TSMC in developing the program. This certificate course, designed to enhance NTNU's international presence, equips students in diverse disciplines with fundamental semiconductor knowledge. The program aims to cultivate practical skills, deepen understanding of semiconductor concepts, and prepare students as well-rounded and technically proficient professionals, ultimately increasing their employability.

Through this partnership, the College of Technology and Engineering and TSMC have co-developed the credited 'NTNU x TSMC Semiconductor Certificate Program.' Enrolled students will benefit from unique program activities and the opportunity to learn from industry experts at TSMC through specialized courses.

Upon successful completion of the program requirements, participants will receive a co-issued 'Academic Certificate of Completion ' from NTNU and TSMC. This certificate guarantees an interview opportunity for holders applying to TSMC positions. Additionally, TSMC will offer a NT$150,000 entry bonus to program participants who achieve an average grade of 80 or above in the required coursework.

Dr. Morgan Liao, Manager of the Talent Development and Recruitment Department at TSMC, explained the program's dual objectives. 'Firstly, we aim to equip students within the semiconductor field with a strong foundation and industry-aligned skills,' Liao stated. 'Secondly, the program offers an introductory pathway into the field for students outside the semiconductor specialization.'

Regarding course requirements, Liao emphasized the interdisciplinary nature of the program, with coursework across five departments: Optoelectronic Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechatronic Engineering, Chemistry, and Physics. He clarified that all NTNU students regardless of academic major are eligible to apply for the Semiconductor Certificate Course through the TSMC website, with no enrollment limit.

The program requires completion of 15 credits, including at least five core and five elective courses. These courses cover diverse areas, including semiconductor component physics, process equipment and technology, and integrated circuit design. Elective options include introductions to quantum mechanics and component measurement. Notably, the 'Fundamentals of Semiconductor Equipment' course, offered exclusively by TSMC, is only available to program participants.

Liao further explained that while program completion enhances students' resumes, it will not affect their current degree requirements. In addition to receiving a certificate co-issued by NTNU and TSMC, enrolled students also have access to TSMC's new employee training, visits to the Innovation Hall or wafer fabs, and participation in program-specific activities -- all providing valuable industry exposure.

The announcement generated significant student interest, as evidenced by the full lecture hall at the information session. Bo-Yan Lai, a first-year Mechatronic Engineering student, expressed his intention to apply, motivated by the employment bonus and guaranteed interview at TSMC. In addition to the signing bonus, he said the site visits to TSMC and employee training program offered as part of the coursework were also invaluable opportunities.

Chia-Heng Liu, a first-year Electrical Engineering student, immediately registered online after the presentation. He valued the career options of having an additional certificate and was particularly interested in the industry exposure through TSMC visits. While acknowledging the potential increased workload from 15 courses, he felt the overlap with his existing degree requirements would minimize the pressure.

Professor Jeng-Han Tsai of NTNU's Electrical Engineering Department acknowledged the potential challenge for students from non-engineering backgrounds, while noting the minimal additional burden for electrical and electromechanical engineering students due to the alignment with their existing curriculum. He highlighted the program's potential to deepen students' industry knowledge and encourage students to focus their study efforts.

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