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NSF awards SUNY Poly, partners $2M grant to expand semiconductor and nanotech education center

suny polytechnic instituteALBANY, N.Y. — SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) will use $2.25 million in federal funding for the “continuation and significant expansion” of the Northeast Advanced Technology Education Center (NEATEC).

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded the funding, SUNY Poly said in a news release issued Monday.

SUNY Poly lists Onondaga Community College (OCC) and Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC), and others as collaborators in the grant funding.


NEATEC was established in 2010 through the NSF Advanced Technology Education program, which established regional centers designed to provide targeted educational programs.

Program expansion

Based at SUNY Poly, NEATEC will develop and implement credit-bearing, high-tech education and training programs over the next three years “in support of the region’s advanced semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem.”

The funding will also support advanced technological-education programs serving “underserved and underrepresented” populations, especially in Central New York, “to help meet the workforce needs” of the region’s high-tech industries.

The NSF funding awarded to SUNY Poly will lead to an expansion of NEATEC’s academic-program development, which are centered at SUNY Poly’s Albany and Utica campuses.

The expansion will include the creation of a number of “stackable,” credit-bearing, technology-focused, academic-certificate programs for industries related to semiconductors.

The industries include power electronics, integrated photonics, silicon photovoltaics, and advanced LED (light emitting diode) lighting technology.

The funding will also support expanded “experiential learning opportunities” with industrial partners and expanded community college and technical high-school partnerships.

They include academic developmental partnerships with MVCC, OCC, and Fulton-Montgomery Community College, as well as Fairfield University in Connecticut, among others.

As part of the funding, SUNY Poly will establish the NEATEC Technology Training Center (NTTC) in Albany as a region-wide, NSF advanced technological-education “user” facility to train community college faculty in the delivery of NEATEC-developed curricula.

The training will include “hands-on” educational components incorporating advanced mechatronics systems; an advanced vacuum and plasma-processing teaching toolset; and an “integrated” photonics test and quality-control evaluation system.

OCC, MVCC reaction

OCC is “pleased” to partner with SUNY Polytechnic on this program grant through the NSF advanced technology education program, Casey Crabill, president of Onondaga Community College, said in the SUNY Poly news release.

“With the leadership of Art Peterson, chair of applied engineering technology department at OCC, we will work with SUNY Poly and industry representatives to develop curriculum and student engagement and applied-learning opportunities to support semiconductor-derivative industries, including photovoltaic manufacturing, LED-lighting manufacturing, power-electronics manufacturing, and integrated photonics manufacturing. The incorporation of these cutting-edge technologies into OCC’s applied-engineering degree programs will support our graduates’ direct entry into high-demand careers in advanced manufacturing or transfer to high-tech bachelor’s degree programs at four-year institutions,” said Crabill.

“MVCC is thrilled to continue our dynamic partnership with SUNY Poly in such a critical area of economic development for Upstate New York,” Randall VanWagoner, president of Mohawk Valley Community College, added.


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