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ODU Engineering Master's Student Wins Prestigious Poster Contest Award

An Old Dominion University master's student has received a prestigious award for the work he did during his summer internship for a Northern Virginia-based computer company.

George Annobil, who is completing ODU's bachelor of science-master of science program in electrical and computer engineering, was recognized for having the most outstanding poster presentation at the Virginia Microelectronics Consortium (VMEC) 2009 Summer Scholars program.

Annobil, who received a certificate and $100 for winning the contest, presented a poster on the work he did over the summer at Micron Technologies in Manassas, Va.

"I was working with Micron's yield-enhancement department, doing analytical research," said Annobil, who moved to Norfolk from Ghana to study at ODU five years ago, graduating with a bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering last May.

In a complex manufacturing process, many microscopic layers of materials with conducting and semiconducting properties are placed one after another to produce "wafers"; which are flat circular discs comprising of numerous memory chips, Annobil said.

Micron was trying out two different programs to test the performance of the chip components. In true engineering fashion, it was Annobil's job to use data correlation and the trial-and-error method on the two programs, to find out which would be more effective for the company to use.

"It was my job to take samples from batches of partially defective wafers and test them, to figure out if the system could accurately locate the level and region the chips could be failing at. It took about a month and a half to get comfortable with the process, but I ended up finishing just about everything on time," Annobil said.

"I was also responsible for training the other engineers in the department about the process I developed. There were some pretty senior people. You can imagine my surprise when I found out I would be doing that."

One of Annobil's professors at ODU was impressed with his work this summer.

"It is very good to highlight the achievements of our engineering students," said Helmut Baumgart, ODU professor of electrical and computer engineering, who works at the Applied Research Center in Newport News.

"George Annobil chose to spend his VMEC summer internship at Micron Technology, and the outstanding work he performed during the summer earned him the first prize in the competition against all other Virginia schools, including UVa, Virginia Tech, William and Mary and George Mason University."

After he finishes his master's program, Annobil said he would consider Micron as one of the places to apply for full-time work. He believes the time spent working there this summer will give him a leg up no matter where he ends up using his electrical and computer engineering skills.

This article was posted on: October 29, 2009

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