The Route

Kelly Dack

Musings on land patterns and moon landings.

In this month’s column, I celebrate the importance of the humble PCB component footprint. I suggest that creating and leaving positive professional footprints on all we do in the Printed Circuit Engineering Association is imperative to the success of our industry. Next, I hand it off to PCEA Chairman Steph Chavez for some inspiring words as we tread into the new year. And as always, I provide a list of events coming up.

PCEA Updates

Not a day goes by that I don’t come across hundreds of footprints. Not all are related to electronic components used in PCB design. Around a cattle ranch, for instance, some are left by turkeys, deer, cattle and other outdoor critters as they go about their daily business foraging for food in the snow. Some footprints are my own, which I make as I go about my daily business taking care of outside chores. Sometimes I make “bad” footprints, tracking them into the kitchen if I fail to shed my Muck Boots in the mud room before entering. These are hardly lasting footprints, as I’d like to point out. They are made without much thought and quickly fade with the next snowfall or the wipe of a mop across the floor.

Lasting footprints are quite different.

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Read more: Footprints: Small Steps with a Giant Impact

Kelly Dack

Applying sound science to circuit board design through test.

In this month’s column, I share a few terms I’ve been contemplating lately, which I have been trying to put in the context of the role of the PCEA within the electronics industry. Next, I hand it off to PCEA Chairman Steph Chavez for some inspiration for the fresh start of the year. And finally, I provide a list of coming events.

PCEA Updates

You may have noticed the use of three concepts mentioned extensively in 2020: “believe the science and data,” “speak truth to power,” and consider “systemic” causes for problems.

These concepts were associated with some particularly challenging, if not nasty, displays of societal failure in 2020. It has been easy for us to see how, in an agitated and perhaps desperate social climate, a time-consuming, methodical approach to collecting data and applying them to science can give way to convenient conspiracy theory. Speaking truth to power got some people fired overnight. The term systemic was used to point to long-term causes for some particularly blatant failures of a society to prepare people for success.

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Read more: Oh, That Radical PCB Engineering Conspiracy Theory

Kelly Dack

A successful first year promises even bigger things to come.

 

In this month’s forward-driving column, I glance back at PCEA’s year in “rearview,” which included an energetic jump-start, some challenging air filter retrofitting, some remote diagnostics, and a final refueling at a successful virtual chapter meeting. Next, I hit cruise control and rely on PCEA Chairman Stephen Chavez, who focuses on what lies ahead between the vanishing points of highways 2020 and 2021. As always, I’ll also point out some interesting events for you to consider attending.

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Read more: PCEA 2020: Small Rearview Mirror, Big Windshield

Kelly Dack

Some of our favorite subject-matter experts explain what motivates them.

In this month’s column I introduce a few of our inspiring women PCEA leaders. Next, PCEA chairman Stephen Chavez offers his take on the importance of diversity in a collective organization. As always, I include our list of professional development opportunities and events. Last, I tease some upcoming coverage on one of the PCEA’s educational networking events.

PCEA Updates

One of the most inspiring events I’ve had the opportunity to cover over the past decade was an early morning Women in Electronics at IPC Apex Expo. This event brings together women in the electronics industry to join their colleagues across the supply chain to network, share ideas, and discuss career experiences. It is an opportunity for women in the industry to learn from and inspire one another.

Recently, I’ve appreciated that within our PCEA meetings, we experience that same zeal with our executive staff every time we convene. It is not difficult to realize the impact of leadership by women in electronics in the PCEA. Many of our leaders – including women – reach out, team up, and work together to tackle many of the tough tasks that must be accomplished as the PCEA moves forward.

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Read more: PCEA and Women Industry Leaders

Why online get-togethers don’t have to "stink."

This month I share a few thoughts on the formation of our chapters and commentary from of a few of the PCEA staff regarding their thoughts on where the chapters are and where we need to go. Next, PCEA chairman Steph Chavez shares some encouraging words for these extended times of Covid. So our readers will not miss a beat, I include our list of professional development opportunities and events and close with a preview of what is in store for the column next month.

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Read more: Local Chapters: Making Sense(s) Out of Virtual Meetings

Kelly Dack

“Education is the key to unlock the golden door to freedom.” – George Washington Carver

This month I speak with the PCEA Educational Committee regarding the team’s take on the PCEA’s role in education. What do they have in store? Next, PCEA Chairman Steph Chavez weighs in on the strength of the Education Committee and why it is crucial to the PCEA’s mission. Finally, with our normally provided list of professional development opportunities and events, I give a preview of next month’s column.

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