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Samsung Electronics Commits $3.7M to UT Austin to Bolster Semiconductor Ecosystem in Central Texas

9/1/2023

Samsung Electronics is partnering with The University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering to help build the talent pipeline needed to support the growing semiconductor ecosystem in Central Texas.

Announced as part of Semiconductor Day today at UT Austin, the partnership includes funds for recruiting and supporting undergraduate and graduate students to study semiconductor manufacturing in the Cockrell School of Engineering and other key majors in the semiconductor space across UT Austin, as well as research and development support and upgrades to lab facilities. The partnership will elevate UT Austin’s semiconductor education, innovation and research and position Texas as a leader in the burgeoning U.S. semiconductor industry.

“UT Austin’s leadership in America’s semiconductor industry and our role in Austin’s emergence as an industry hub date back to the 1980s,” said UT President Jay Hartzell. “Our Legislature’s bold investment in the CHIPS Act is positioning UT to design and build the future of semiconductors, and now our partnership with Samsung enables us to educate the workforce, fundamental to bolstering the U.S. supply chain. We could not be more excited to work with Samsung to help achieve this important goal.”

samsung-austin-semiconductor-hosting-university-of-texas

Samsung Austin Semiconductor hosting the University of Texas at Austin’s chapters of Society of Women Engineering, National Society of Black Engineers and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers in March 2023.

Locally, Samsung Austin Semiconductor is contributing $1 million to the UT Cockrell School as part of its 5-star workforce development plan, supporting the partnerships and initiatives with four-year institutions to increase participation in engineering programs and promote semiconductor research and curriculum to expand the semiconductor STEM pipeline, while providing more opportunities to underrepresented communities.

Samsung Electronics is contributing $2.7 million to the school with an emphasis on research and development and will partner with the university on selecting the projects.

The contribution will allow the school to focus on four areas of impact that will directly increase the number of students who are interested in studying and pursuing careers in semiconductor manufacturing. The key areas of support are:

  • Undergraduate Student Support (Scholarships)
  • Graduate Student Support (Fellowships)
  • Student program/academic support (Capstone projects)
  • Funding to help modernize the undergraduate teaching Fab Lab and expand the number of students trained.

Samsung Austin Semiconductor and UT Austin have had a longstanding relationship,” said Bonyoung Koo, president of Samsung Austin Semiconductor. “We have hired hundreds of UT Austin alumni and provided internship opportunities for hundreds more. This opportunity builds upon and formalizes our collaboration and furthers a strategic plan to address the needs of the workforce.”

According to a July 2023 report by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), the semiconductor industry’s workforce will grow by nearly 115,000 jobs by 2030; however, due to current degree completion rates, approximately 67,000 of these new jobs risk going unfilled—27,300 of which are for engineers.

“Being able to pull from a skilled and large workforce is of utmost importance for us,” added Koo. “That is why we’re investing in a neighboring, top-ranking engineering school such as the Cockrell School.”

Located only 12 miles from Samsung Austin Semiconductor, the Cockrell School is the engine for the city’s evolution as a tech powerhouse and students from all Cockrell departments are poised to become the industry leaders of tomorrow.

“This partnership opens new doors for our student engineers through hands-on learning experiences and invaluable workforce connections,” said Roger Bonnecaze, dean of the Cockrell School. “It also supports Cockrell researchers who are spearheading semiconductor innovation. We are deeply grateful and excited about the legacy this partnership will leave on the Cockrell School.”

With Samsung Austin Semiconductor’s investment in a new, state-of-the-art $17 billion semiconductor manufacturing facility in Taylor, the need for engineers will be in high demand for years to come.

In the race for semiconductor talent, Samsung Austin Semiconductor also wants to ensure our partnership with UT Austin increases participation from students who are under-represented and economically disadvantaged. The initial plan includes scholarships for 40 undergraduate students and fellowships for 10 students. These students will also have the opportunity to participate in the company’s paid internship program.

“As president of Samsung Austin Semiconductor from 2015-2017 and now overseeing the Taylor project, I’ve seen the workforce change and how Samsung’s past, present, and future investments will continue to facilitate the company’s growth in Texas, as well as the state’s growth with Samsung,” said Dr. Chanhoon Park, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics and president of the Taylor project. “Texas has a diverse workforce and great talent. We want to continue to build upon that with this partnership.”

Since 1996, Samsung Austin Semiconductor has hired hundreds of UT Austin alumni and provided internship opportunities for hundreds more. UT Austin students regularly visit and tour the manufacturing campus as part of various student groups.

This partnership formalizes the relationship, and sets up a future for developing the next generation of semiconductor leaders. “This is just the beginning of our shared goal of growing the critically important semiconductor workforce of the future,” Bonnecaze said. “Together, Samsung and the Cockrell School will cement Austin’s reputation as the leader in semiconductor education, research and manufacturing, while furthering our goal of being the highest-impact public engineering school in the world.”

As one of the top engineering schools in the nation, the Cockrell School is relentless in its pursuit to change the world. Together, Samsung and the Cockrell School can transform advanced manufacturing in Texas and continue to propel this legacy of excellence forward for many years to come.

To learn more about Samsung Austin Semiconductor, visit semiconductor.samsung.com/us/sas.

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