SMT, PCB Electronics Industry News


Sep 02, 2008

Minneapolis, MN � The 2008 Charles Hutchins Educational Grant recipient, Lei Nie, a graduate student in the field of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, has been selected by the SMTA Grant Committee for her project entitled "Reliability of Reballed and Reworked Plastic Ball Grid Arrays in SnPb and SAC Assembly Process".

Ms. Nie's research work involves two main parts: the quality control and reliability analysis of reballed parts and assemblies using different reballing methods, and quality and reliability evaluations of BGA assemblies after multiple rework processes. Her research work is state-of-the-art as very little information is available on the reliability of reballed parts and assemblies, especially after multiple rework processes. Lei Nie has a Bachelor of Material Science and Engineering from Tsinghua University and now works as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) at the University of Maryland under the guidance of Faculty Advisor, Dr. Michael Pecht.

Lei's project was selected from many applications reviewed by the SMTA's Grant Committee. The award included $5,000 (which goes directly to the student) and travel expenses to SMTA International in Orlando, Florida, during which Nie was presented the award at the SMTA Annual Meeting by Hutchins Grant Committee chairperson, Dr. Laura Turbini of Research in Motion.

This grant, co-sponsored by SMTA and Circuits Assembly Magazine, was established in memory of past SMTA president and industry colleague, Charles Hutchins. For more information, or to make a donation, visit the Hutchins Grant section on or contact SMTA Executive Administrator JoAnn Stromberg at 952-920-7682 or

The SMTA membership is an international network of professionals who build skills, share practical experience and develop solutions in electronic assembly technologies, including microsystems, emerging technologies, and related business operations.

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