MARCY, N.Y. — SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) and Wolfspeed (NYSE: WOLF) announced a $250,000 Wolfspeed Curriculum Gift that will enhance educational STEM opportunities for SUNY Poly students, especially those from traditionally underserved backgrounds.
SUNY Poly expects to use the funding to provide new high-tech equipment and expand curricula that dovetails with Wolfspeed’s future workforce needs. This will help ensure student’s educational experience is highly translatable to the opportunities that will be available at Wolfspeed’s Mohawk Valley Fab, a 200mm silicon-carbide fabrication facility.
“At Wolfspeed, we are passionate about giving back to the communities where we live and work,” Wolfspeed Chief Technical Officer and co-founder Dr. John Palmour said in a news release. “This includes supporting and educating the next generation of the high-tech workforce. People are critical to our continued success, and that’s why we invest with strategic partners such as SUNY Poly to build a strong talent pipeline to develop great technologists and leaders.”
SUNY Poly Acting President Dr. Tod A. Laursen said the partnership with Wolfspeed will further facilitate synergies between the school’s curricula and the workforce needs at Wolfspeed at the Marcy Nanocenter.
“This initiative will provide an impactful platform for students to graduate with the skills needed to support the Mohawk Valley and New York state’s burgeoning semiconductor industry, allowing them to seamlessly transition to Wolfspeed’s state-of-the-art fab thanks to their invaluable commitment to our students, this institution, and our region.”
Wolfspeed is currently constructing its Mohawk Valley Fab in Marcy and has committed to creating more than 600 new jobs within eight years as well as providing internships for SUNY students as part of its presence.
SUNY Poly faculty and Wolfspeed designees will determine new equipment that can complement strategically targeted coursework to align the skillsets of students in related innovation-centered programs with the experience and knowledge required for success at Wolfspeed’s Marcy facility. Full-content updates are planned for those programs starting in the 2022-2023 academic year.
Curriculum expansion will include the following areas — electronic-device testing-course modules coupled with expanded lab testing modules, undergraduate level robotics/automation/sensors and controls (mechatronics), use or artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms across the engineering and engineering technology program, and increased access and use of semiconductor fab-related tools.
This curriculum gift compliments Wolfspeed’s commitment in 2021 to fund a $2 million scholarship program over 10 years. The program has already awarded a total of $46,000 to SUNY Poly students at both its Albany and Utica–area campuses interested in pursuing a career in the semiconductor industry. Wolfspeed has also engaged SUNY Poly students through hands-on internship opportunities and a donation of $25,000 to the SUNY Poly Foundation in 2019 to expand STEM programs.