Rensselaer Professor Esther Wertz Appointed UPWARDS For the Future Faculty Fellow To Support Semiconductor Education, Workforce Training, and Research

Program unites industry and academia to produce highly skilled semiconductor workforce

April 18, 2024

Esther Wertz, Ph.D.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Esther Wertz, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, has been appointed Rensselaer’s faculty fellow of UPWARDS for the Future. UPWARDS stands for the U.S.-Japan University Partnership for Workforce Advancement and Research & Development in Semiconductors. It was established in May 2023 by Micron and Tokyo Electron Limited to “to bring together 11 universities from across the U.S. and Japan to develop leading semiconductor curricula, creating opportunities for cross-collaboration.”

Wertz will play an important role in the engagement and support of Rensselaer’s activities under the UPWARDS for the Future program. The programmatic pillars are women in semiconductors, curriculum design, experiential learnings, memory-centric semiconductor research, and student and faculty exchanges.

“I’m excited to contribute to the UPWARDS for the Future program at Rensselaer,” said Wertz. “Developing a highly skilled and diverse semiconductor workforce is a priority — for Rensselaer, the region, the state, and our nation. I look forward to working with students, faculty, and our partners to motivate, inspire, and prepare the next generation of semiconductor experts.”

The appointment is for two years, and is renewable for up to five years, and includes funding for at least one graduate student traineeship over the duration of the program. Wertz will collaborate with Japanese universities including spending time onsite, and may host Japanese researchers in her laboratory with support from the grant.

“Our participation in UPWARDS is a key pillar of our microelectronics strategy at Rensselaer,” said Robert Hull, Ph.D., Rensselaer vice president for research. “I look forward, with the leadership of Dr. Wertz and many other faculty at Rensselaer, to our ever-growing impact in semiconductor workforce development, research, and curricula.”


Written By Katie Malatino
Back to top