Professor receives award

At the 2007 annual TechCon technology conference, professor Wojciech P. Maly of the electrical and computer engineering (ECE) department received the Aristotle Award from the Semiconductor Research Corporation.

Founded in 1996, the Aristotle Award is intended to recognize research professors who have had a profound impact on the education of their students.

Maly earned this award in recognition of his pioneering teaching methods and groundbreaking research in the semiconductor integrated circuit (IC) industry.

This award has been given to three professors, including Maly, in the ECE department.

According to Maly’s website, Maly’s research focuses on “interfaces between VLSI design, testing, and manufacturing, with the stress on the stochastic nature of phenomena relating these three VLSI domains.”

The IC industry focuses on the properties of and complexities associated with the fabrication of semiconductor integrated circuits, and Maly has been especially concerned with the industry’s manufacturing costs.

Maly said, “A sum of four billion U.S. dollars has been allocated to build the fabrication line.”

During his career, Maly has published numerous research papers, many of which have focused on the design, testing, and yield of integrated circuits.

Maly gives full credit for this award to his team of “hardworking, talented, and dedicated individuals,” both students and faculty members. He also expresses thanks to Carnegie Mellon for providing him with an environment to view the world as he does.

“Teamwork is the most beautiful, and rewarding aspect of my profession,” he said. Maly also believes that knowledge, coupled with “emotional freedom,” is what produces the fruitful results he and his team have had.

In a Carnegie Mellon press release, Anne Gattiker, who graduated from Carnegie Mellon’s ECE department in 1998, said, “[Maly] taught us humility and showed us how to view the significance of our work.”

Maly’s previous academic pursuits took him to study in Warsaw, Poland, where he earned his Ph.D. from the Institute of Applied Cybernetics in 1975. That same year, Maly became an assistant professor at the Technical University of Warsaw.

Since becoming affiliated with Carnegie Mellon in 1983, Maly has been honored with various awards, including the Ministry of Higher Education of Poland Research Award and Carnegie Mellon’s Benjamin Richard Teare Teaching Award.

T.E. Schlesinger, head of the ECE department, expressed delight in Maly’s achievement. “Professor Maly is a remarkable presence, leader, and educator in the field of semiconductor design and manufacturing,” Schlesinger said. “His contributions to the advancement of semiconductor technology, and the influence he has had as a teacher and mentor to so many people in that community, cannot be overstated.

“His vision and his ideas are today part of the fabric of this field, and we are exceedingly proud of the fact that the department of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon is where he calls ‘home.’ ”

Maly is currently working alongside other researchers to investigate trends in the integrated circuit industry. Maly’s past publications on this subject have focused on the cost of producing integrated circuits and on the processing methods of wafers, which are semiconducting materials.

Maly is also working on a project called Y4 (Yield Forecaster), which aims to analyze the relationship between the design, testing, packaging, and failure analysis of semiconductors.

To study adjustments that are made in these processes, Maly and collaborators developed the software program Y4. The program simulates an actual production line in which users can change the attributes of a product and determine the timing of production procedures.

Phil Nigh, a 1990 ECE graduate, stated in an ECE press release, “Professor Maly is a real visionary when it comes to semiconductor testing, and all of us working in this industry are a reflection of his demanding and caring teaching style.”

Maly is also a past recipient of the Technical Excellence Award from the Semiconductor Research Corporation, which recognized Maly for his contributions to semiconductor production.

To learn more about Maly’s research, visit his personal webpage