Hand soldering is still a skill with tremendous value, even in this age of automated assembly. Indeed, any engineer who has worked on their own prototype designs will proudly point to their hand-soldering efforts. To honor engineers who take pride in this skill, the IPC Midwest Conference & Exhibition is sponsoring the Second Annual IPC Midwest Soldering Competition, taking place in Schaumburg, IL from August 22-23. Competitors must complete a functional electronics assembly within a tight 30-minute time limit, with the action taking place on the show floor from 1 to 4 PM each day. The top-three finalists will receive cash prizes of $500, $250, and $100; the first-place winner will also walk away with a WSJ 100 Soldering Station compliments of PACE Worldwide, as well as bragging rights for their hand-soldering skills. First place also receives paid hotel and airfare to IPC APEX EXPO®, to be held Feb. 21, 2013 in San Diego, CA, to compete in the IPC Hand Soldering Grand Championship.