Engineering students have traditionally faced a trial by fire when leaving school and joining a company for the first time. Hopelessly optimistic and filled with textbook theory, they have yet to sample the "school of hard knocks" that comes from long hours on design teams and pursuing ideas that too often end in failure. In engineering, universities can provide excellent educations, but experience is also a great teacher.

Many industries, including the RF/microwave industry, will face a shortage of engineering talent in the near future as the members of a generation age and retire. Industry companies that learn to work closely with universities having solid engineering programs can help their own causes by creating a conduit for future talent.

One of the stories below offers an example of this type of cooperative effort taking place between students at Hong Kong University and Kyoto University and the software developers at Coventer and, in general, the MEMS design community. Students are learning to use high-level software tools while also learning about MEMS devices. By competing in a design contest, these students are becoming MEMS designers who will fill some much-needed shoes in the high-frequency industry in years to come. By partnering efforts with engineering schools, companies can help to educate our next generation of engineering talent and, at the same time, look out for their own future personnel needs.