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Thanks to our Sponsors:

Silver Anniversary Sponsors:
Balver Zinn

Indium Corporation

Kyzen Corporation

Libra Industries

Nihon Superior Co., Ltd.

Plexus Corporation


Research in Motion

STI Electronics

Copper Anniversary Sponsors:

Click to hear testimonialsHear more from members about the value of joining SMTA...


25 Highlights of SMTA History:
The following list, compiled by the Anniversary Committee, highlights moments in SMTA history and gives credit to the luminaries (individuals, companies, and events) that helped make SMTA the leading resource for technical information in the electronics assembly and advanced packaging industry. These events will be revealed at a rate of one, two, or three per week, with the most recent at the top of the list, until the 25th Anniversary Dinner at SMTA International on October 5, 2009.

  • You Make It Happen!
  • SMTA Expands Into China
  • We Couldn't Do It Without You...
  • And the Winner Is?
  • Students are our Future!
  • Teaching Technology for Today and Tomorrow...
  • Standards of Excellence
  • Two Programs That Live On
  • There's No Business Like "Show Business"...
  • SMTA Chapters...Our Heart and Soul
  • National Leadership...the strength of the SMTA
  • The Founders and First Board of Directors

    You Make It Happen!
    Written by: JoAnn Stromberg, SMTA Administrator

    In this final luminary article I would like to focus on the two groups of people who really "make it happen" for the SMTA.

    Without your dues, your participation in Vendor Days and Exhibitions, your work on committees and as chapter leaders, your support of our educational programming, your attendance at chapter meetings, there would be no SMTA. Some of you are long time members, some of you are new to our association. To all of you, a very sincere thank you for the support you have shown over the past 25 years.

    The people who work so diligently and so quietly behind the scenes to make SMTA the wonderful association of today are the staff members. We have come a long way from 1987 when Gayle Jackson and I shared a tiny office, a desk, a work table, a telephone, one very heavy computer with a tiny screen, and one floppy disk with 700 names on it!

    As the SMTA grew, so did our staff. It has been my very sincere pleasure to serve as your Administrator for the past 22 years. Staffers have come and gone over the years. We have often been saddened to lose a staff person, but we have been so lucky that we have been able to attract wonderful new people.

    Our current staff is about the "best" we have ever had. A sincere thank you to all of them for their hard work, their patience and positive outlook. People frequently comment to us about the great "customer service" provided by the SMTA. This is a tribute to this great team of ten people. Often people don’t realize that we have such a small staff. They ask, "HOW do you get it all done?" I want to recognize Sis Sullivan in Membership who so efficiently and cheerfully handles our database, dues, registration, and membership drives. And she has a great assistant in Cheryl Vukelich. Sara Brazeau's outgoing personality as Chapter Coordinator has made her a favorite with our chapter leaders. Leslee Johns, who does such a great job, in her very sweet and pleasant manner, working with our supplier members on Expos and Exhibitions. Melissa Serres Marx who handles the majority of our educational programs in such a confident, calm and thorough way. Kelly Gilbertson came on board as our receptionist and quickly turned into the best assistant that Leslee and Melissa could ask for. Ryan Flaherty, who handles all of our communications, which includes publications and Website continues to impress all of us. His "can do" attitude and calm demeanor are greatly needed in an office of so many women! And to my wonderful assistant, Karen Bergseth, for her strong work ethic, her wonderful proofreading skills, and her patience with me on a daily basis, I say thank you.

    Have I forgotten anyone? I wanted to save Gayle Jackson, my sounding board, confidante, and good friend, for last. Gayle has been with the SMTA almost as long as I have. What is unique is that she has handled all areas of the SMTA, starting with membership, and then covering communications, and for many years serving as your "Director of Chapter Relations". And, in between, she sells booth space for Pan Pac and SMTAI. She is a woman of many talents who has always been there to support me. I could not ask for a better friend, or #2 at the SMTA.

    There is a song titled "The Wind Beneath My Wings" and many times over the years I have recounted to members and leaders that this wonderful SMTA staff is truly the wind beneath MY wings. These people are often not recognized, but they are the ones working so hard for all of you. I am blessed to have each of them as a part of my life.

    So, hats off to our final luminaries... YOU, our members, and this outstanding SMTA staff.

    Happy 25th Anniversary SMTA!

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    SMTA Expands Into China
    Written by: JoAnn Stromberg, SMTA Administrator

    Sammy Yi 2002. Sammy Yi, Flextronics, was serving on the SMTA Board of Directors. Without Sammy's expertise and leadership, our entry into China would have been delayed by many years. Our initial thinking was that we wanted to serve as a liaison with the SMT Committees already active in China. It was our hope that we could provide additional access to technical information and speakers. Perhaps it sounded easier than it actually was.

    In 2002 Sammy and I made a trip to China. The start of my "great adventure". After many hours of flying, I was met at the Pudong Airport by a group men with smiling faces holding up a sign with my name on it. The first challenge had begun…I spoke no Chinese and they did not speak any English. As they proudly showed me the beautiful "night lights" of Shanghai, I knew that the language barrier could be overcome.

    During that week in China, Sammy and I moved at breakneck speed… visiting universities and manufacturing facilities, meeting with government agencies, and representatives from SMT Committees. It was a very busy and productive week. We were highly energized.

    As the months and years passed, we began to offer technical programs in conjunction with NEPCON Shanghai and NEPCON Shenzhen. Initially these programs were organized in conjunction with CCPIT. In the past several years they have been organized by Michael Wong, Emerson. Michael has served as an officer of the Hong Kong chapter and has done an outstanding job organizing these two conferences each year.

    We also launched our certification program with two Chinese speaking instructors, David Hu, Indium Corporation and Michael Wong, Emerson.

    Abby Tsoi Our initial challenge was how to manage SMTA China without a staff person. The answer was Abby Tsoi, Kasion Automation. Abby had served as President of our Hong Kong Chapter, he had participated in our certification program, he had attended our Leadership Forum. Abby's enthusiasm is what has made SMTA China a reality and no volunteer has worked harder in China than Abby. SMTA China and Abby Tsoi are synonymous…from working on technical programs, to organizing the most beautiful annual meetings. From soliciting sponsorships to negotiating contracts. From creating a Board or Directors to finding officers. The hours Abby devoted to the successful launch of SMTA China cannot be estimated.

    Four years ago we were lucky enough to have Peggy Chen come on board as the SMTA China Administrator. She has done a wonderful job and we have all enjoyed getting to know her. We feel very fortunate that she was able to join us in Minnesota two years ago for training as well as having her attend our Leadership Forum. She assists both Abby and Michael in the day to day operations of SMTA China.

    I have been fortunate enough to make a number of trips to China. I have enjoyed learning the culture and exploring many historic sites, but most importantly, I have enjoyed making new friends with so many people.

    There are many individuals that we would also like to recognize for the development of SMTA China: Dr. Chuck Bauer (TechLead) for his tireless efforts as our SMTA International Committee Chair, Dr. Ning Cheng Lee (Indium Corporation), Tom Forsythe (Kyzen), Tony Chu (Top Touch), and Past SMTA Presidents, Rod Howell (who opened our initial office in Shenzhen) and David Raby (who I had the privilege of traveling with several times in China. What great adventures!) Megan Wendling, Wendling Associates, has been a valuable partner, offering her PR expertise to SMTA China, and we thank her.

    Challenges? Yes, many. Misunderstandings along the way? Of course. Did we ultimately achieve our goal? Most certainly.

    Thank you Sammy Yi and Abby Tsoi for making SMTA China a reality.

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    We Couldn't Do It Without You...
    Written by: JoAnn Stromberg, SMTA Administrator and Sis Sullivan, Director of Membership

    You may have heard of the book titled, "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child". Well, it also takes a phenomenal amount of support from members to run a successful association. When we think of support we often think of the committee, chapter and national board volunteers. We think of those who participate in our Tech Expos, tradeshows, and educational programs. Over the past few months, we have given you some insight into these contributions that have fueled the growth of the SMTA for 25 years. This week we would like to focus on the support that from two very important groups: our Corporate Members and our Media Partners.

    Corporate Members
    We are very proud to have over 500 companies as corporate members of the SMTA. They have provided financial stability and supported our programs and events during good times and challenging times. Their continued commitment is what allows us to fund so many special member benefits, such as our Journal, our Web site, and our Leadership Forum. We would especially like to recognize our two longest standing corporate members: Micro Industries (member #3, initiated by Chuck Richardson and held for many years by Michael Curran) and DEK (member #56, held by Craig Brown). We would also like to recognize our Corporate Member with the most participating memberships: Celestica, Inc. You are three corporate luminaries that have helped guide our journey through the years!

    Media Partners
    We know that all of you see advertising for SMTA programs both in print and electronic media. As a non-profit with a tiny marketing budget, we depend on the media to help us "spread the word", and they never have let us down. Very special appreciation goes to Circuits Assembly, Global SMT and Packaging, and SMT for so many years as valued partners. We have developed lifelong friendships with the editors and staff of these publications. They are, indeed, a part of our SMTA family, and we offer you our heartfelt thanks.

    To CircuitNet, for your ongoing commitment and innovative ideas, we say a sincere thank you. To SMTNet, for hosting our Q&A Forum at, we are greatly appreciative.

    Indeed, it takes many loyal supporters to keep the SMTA active and highly respected in the industry. Corporate members and media partners...hats off to you for 25 years of such great support.

    Happy 25th Anniversary SMTA!

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    And the Winner Is?
    Written by: JoAnn Stromberg, SMTA Administrator

    In 1994 the SMTA Board made a decision that we should be recognizing those association leaders who had gone "above and beyond" in their support of the SMTA. Over the past 16 years we have recognized 80 members for their superior contributions. We consider each of these people and companies to be anniversary luminaries.

    These winners are selected by an Awards Committee. Members can serve on this committee for three years. They review many submissions each year and then select the ones they feel are most worthy in a given year. I am always touched by both the submissions and the response of the selected winners.

    The award categories are Excellence in Leadership (in North America, as well as internationally), Technical Distinction, Corporate SMTA+, and our Founder's Award. I hope you will take a minute to review the list of all past winners. This can be found at

    Our awards are presented each year at SMTAI. The 2009 winners will be recognized on October 7th at our Keynote Lunch and Annual Meeting. I know you will join with me in recognizing the 2009 winners:
  • Leadership: Kathy Palumbo, Production Analysis & Learning Services LLC, LA/Orange Chapter. Kathy will be recognized for her outstanding contributions as a chapter leader.
  • International Leadership: Michael Wong, Emerson, Hong Kong Chapter. Michael will be recognized for his dedication to organizing the SMTA Shanghai and SMTA Shenzhen technical conferences.
  • Technical Distinction: Dr. Raiyo Aspandiar, Intel Corporation, will be recognized for his many technical contributions to the SMTA.
  • Corporate SMTA+: Cisco Systems will be the recipient of this year's award for their continuing support of SMTA educational programs, as well as leadership at both the national and chapter level.
  • Founder's Award: Dr. Ken Gilleo, ET-Trends, will be recognized for his many contributions to both the SMTA and our industry over many years. In addition to serving as VP of Technical Programs at the national level, Ken organizes our yearly International Wafer Level Packaging Conference (IWLPC).

    An additional award will be presented this year to Steve Gold, iConnect007. This Exceptional Contribution Award will recognize Steve for the countless hours he spent capturing, editing, and formatting the SMTA's Membership Video Testimonials. Please check out these dynamic videos at

    I hope that many of you will be joining us in San Diego in October to add your congratulations. As we celebrate this special 25th anniversary there are many award winners (past and present) that we want to acknowledge. Your contributions over many years are noteworthy. We also recognize that there are many other members who are working hard at the chapter, committee, or Board level that will be recognized in the years to come. I am proud of all of you!

    Happy 25th anniversary SMTA!

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    Students are our Future!
    Written by: Karen Bergseth, SMTA Grant and Student Chapter Coordinator

    Charles Hutchins Educational Grant
    SMTA's commitment to our students is visible in various ways, but the "main attraction" is our Hutchins Educational Grant. Many of you remember SMTA's Past President, Dr. Charles Hutchins. Charles was always the happiest when he was teaching and mentoring. When he died very unexpectedly in 1997, many colleagues in our industry wanted to honor him for his years of service. JoAnn Stromberg was contacted by Ron Daniels at Circuits Assembly magazine about the possibility of establishing a grant in his honor. This was the perfect match with discussion at that time by the SMTA Board of Directors.

    Daniel Lewis With Circuits Assembly magazine as our partner, the first Hutchins Grant was presented in 1998 to Dan Lewis from Lehigh University. Our 12th grant will be presented in October at SMTA International to George Li from Auburn University. The grant fund has now passed the $100,000 mark due to the continued support of Circuits Assembly, 2009 Hutchins Grant recipient George Li, from Auburn University generous donations from our local chapters, and individual and corporate donors! This is a wonderful tribute to Charles and has allowed us to award a $5,000 grant each year to an exceptionally qualified graduate level student.

    Many of these winners are now working in our industry. Some of the winners (and past applicants) continue to present papers at SMTA conferences. Please link to Grant Winner history to see a list of the students and what they are doing today. And for more information on the grant please visit the Hutchins Grant page.

    We would like to recognize and offer a sincere thank you to Circuits Assembly magazine, to our committee chair, Dr. Laura Turbini Laura Turbini(Research in Motion), our most enthusiastic student champion, to the past and current members of the Grant Committee, and to all of you who have donated to this noble cause for the past 12 years.

    SMTA Student Chapters
    Knowing that students are our future, the SMTA is proud to have eight Student Chapters in North America: Binghamton University (NY), Georgia Institute of Technology (GA), Oregon State University, Rochester Institute of Technology (NY), North Dakota State University, the largest student chapter - CMAP (Toronto), and the newest in 2009 - Purdue University (IN) and the University of Waterloo (Toronto).

    The involvement of local chapters is essential to connecting and supporting students in industry related programs at colleges and universities. Last year, San Jose helped sponsor several students from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo University who wrote a journal along with members from Henkel Corporation and Flextronics. The chapter helped these students with their studies with a donation of $500 each. They presented their work, a project on lead-free mechanical reliability, at the chapter meeting in May 2008 which was also published in a reliability journal. In 2009 four local chapters - Space Coast, Atlanta, Toronto, and Long Island – are sponsoring the Student Chapter President at the University of Waterloo to attend SMTA International and present the paper he co-wrote with colleagues from Research in Motion. To learn more about SMTA Student Chapters visit the Student Chapters page.

    In our continuing commitment to link students to our industry, the Board of Directors initiated a partnership with MentorNet, a global e-mentoring network for students in engineering and science. In only 15 minutes each week, an SMTA mentor can change a protégé's life with a professional's wisdom, an expert's guidance, and their real world experience. Mentors and protégé's set up a mutually convenient communication schedule, so in addition to being "green" (it's email based), it is also a perfect volunteer opportunity for individuals who travel!

    To find out how you can connect with a student through MentorNet in two easy steps or to hear what SMTA members say about their rewarding mentoring relationship, go to the MentorNet page.

    As we celebrate SMTA's 25th Anniversary, it is with great pride that we salute and recognize our students for the role they are playing today, as well as their industry role in the future. You are, indeed, luminaries and shining stars!

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    Teaching Technology for Today and Tomorrow...
    Written by: Melissa Serres Marx, Director of Educational Programs

    Advanced Packaging? Harsh Environments? Medical Electronics? Counterfeit Electronics? True to our tagline of "Sharing the Knowledge" the SMTA has been presenting leading edge technical programs for the past 25 years.

    In addition to SMTAI, Academy programs, and CTPs, which you have read about in earlier luminary articles, the SMTA has been privileged to have an exceptionally strong technical committee to provide us with suggestions and insight on up-and-coming issues that could be of interest to our members and industry colleagues.

    Some of the very earliest programs covering BGA, Chip Scale and Lead-Free were organized by the SMTA.

    Dr. Chuck Bauer The Pan Pacific Microelectronics Symposium launched 14 years ago by Dr. Chuck Bauer (TechLead Corporation) as a joint event with SEMI and IMAPS. After several years the SMTA took over complete ownership and Chuck has stayed with us for all of those years. General and Technical Chairs have changed, but Chuck has always remained loyal to this event. It is the SMTA event with the most intense networking opportunity of any of our conferences. Attendees come from Mainland US, Canada, Europe and the Pac Rim. A relaxed and beautiful environment allows the attendee to relax while meeting new friends and listening to excellent technical presentations. Thank you, Chuck, for your dedication to this event.

    We can't easily forget about lead-free and the many excellent programs that SMTA has developed. We would be remiss not to mention Dr. Paul Vianco (Sandia National Laboratories) for the many hours he has devoted to not only organizing stand alone lead-free programs for us, but for the excellent job he does on a yearly basis in organizing the Lead-Free Symposium at SMTAI. When the SMTA needed to know what was "happening" in lead-free, we went to Paul. Thank you, Paul.

    Dr. John Evans In 2003, in response to many successful sessions on Harsh Environments at SMTAI, Dr. John Evans (Auburn University) approached us about a stand alone conference on this topic. For the past seven years this has been a successful SMTA event. For the first several years the program was held in Detroit (2003-2004) and Indianapolis (2005-2007); two major automotive hubs. We have addressed topics of interest to those in the automotive, industrial, military and space sectors. This event is a good example of a strong relationship with the SMTA and a university. Thanks, John!

    Jeff Kennedy 2004 was a very good year with the introduction of two new events-the Medical Electronics Symposium and the International Wafer Level Packaging Conference (IWLPC). Jeff Kennedy (Celestica) chaired the medical event for the first two years in Minnesota. We hope you enjoy the photo of Jeff riding around the conference facility on a Segway (provided by our keynote speaker from the Segway Company.) This is a topic we are dedicated to covering. This year we will be holding Medical Electronics Symposium as a joint event with MEPTEC in Phoenix in September. Visit the event Web site at The SMTA enjoys working with other industry associations and is very pleased to work with MEPTEC on this event.

    Dr. Ken Gilleo 2004 also marked the launch of the International Wafer-Level Packaging Conference (IWLPC) in San Jose in conjunction with Chip Scale Review magazine. This has been a highly successful venue and we would like to recognize Dr. Ken Gilleo (ET Trends) for the many hours he has dedicated to chairing this venue. The 2009 event will be held in late October. Information on the program is available at The IWLPC has given us an opportunity to reach a completely new segment of our industry. Thanks, Ken, for not only being our futurist, but for being so dedicated to expanding the scope of the SMTA.

    These are just a few of the many educational programs the SMTA has organized over the years. Below are a few more programs that have added to SMTA's educational repertoire.

    Other SMTA educational programs:

    International Conference on Soldering & Reliability
    Toronto, Ontario
    Years: 2007-2009
    Chair: Dr. Laura Turbini, Research In Motion (2007 - 2009)
    event was started in 2005 by CMAP at the University of Toronto

    Symposium on Avoiding, Detecting, and Preventing Counterfeit Electronic Parts College Park, MD
    Years: 2008 - 2009
    Chair: Dr. Diganta Das, CALCE/University of Maryland
    event is coordinated with CALCE/University of Maryland

    International Symposium on Tin-Whiskers
    Lyngby (Copenhagen), Denmark
    Year: 2009
    Chair: Dr. Mike Osterman, CALCE/University of Maryland
    event was coordinated with CALCE/University of Maryland and the Technical University of Denmark

    High Performance Electronics Assembly Cleaning Symposium
    Rosemont, IL
    Year: 2008
    Chair: Mike Bixenman, Kyzen Corporation
    event was coordinated with IPC

    Successful Lead-Free/RoHS Strategies Conference
    Boxborough, MA
    Year: 2007

    Expansion into Malaysia
    Earlier this year the SMTA opened an office in Penang, Malaysia and hired a staff person to work with the Penang SMTA chapter and coordinate a new educational program. The South East Asia Technical Conference on Electronic Assembly Technologies will premiere on November 18-20, 2009 in Penang, Malaysia. This three-day venue will offer one-day of tutorials and two days of technical presentations and a tabletop expo. Visit for upcoming information on this new venue.

    We hope that you have had an opportunity to attend one of the programs we are identifying as luminaries. As we move into the next 25 years it is our hope that you will let us know of topics of interest to you ( If you have not had an opportunity to attend one of our educational programs there is still time in 2009. You won't be disappointed!

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    Standards of Excellence
    Written by: Ryan Flaherty, Director of Communications and JoAnn Stromberg, SMTA Administrator

    In this week's luminary article we would like to focus on two important offerings of the SMTA: an esteemed certification program and an industry-respected technical publication that the SMTA would like to recognize.

    The SMTA Certification Program
    Dr. Ron Lasky In 2003 we were approached by Dr. Ron Lasky about the possibility of offering a certification program at the engineering level. Our industry had offered certification in specific areas, but nothing that would compare with what Ron had in mind. This certification would cover all aspects of the SMT process and would not be a multiple choice or true and false exam. This would be an exam that would truly "test" those taking it by requiring written answers. Once the Board had approved this idea, Ron and Phil Zarrow got busy creating the study guide, the slides, and the exams. Phil Zarrow Ron became so enthused with the program that he also created the Six Sigma/Green Belt certification that we offer.

    A Certification Committee was organized to oversee this offering. Special thanks need to go to the past and current committee chairs Julian Partridge and Rich Freiberger, and all of the committee members.

    Since the launch of the certification program we have increased our list of instructors to include some of the most knowledgeable individuals in the industry. Jim Hall, ITM Consulting (SMT Processes instructor) and Dr. Ron Lasky, Dartmouth/Indium Corporation (Six Sigma/Green Belt instructor) had significant involvement in the program's creation. They continue to lead all of our certification offerings in the U.S.

    As the SMTA expanded into Asia, our certification program expanded as well. Michael Wong, Emerson Network Power and David Hu, Indium Corporation both teach SMT Processes certification in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

    We are proud to have 327 certified engineers across the world and want to recognize them all of participating in this challenging offering. View the latest list here. The companies with the most employees holding certificates are Celestica and Indium Corporation.

    The remaining offerings for 2009 include:
  • Processes - Sept. 21-23 – Schaumburg, IL (Chicago), in conjunction with IPC Midwest
  • Processes & Six Sigma/Green Belt - October 6-8 – San Diego, CA, in conjunction with SMTAI

    I hope you will enjoy hearing comments from two recently certified engineers:
    "The SMTA Processes course and exam challenges you while providing practical knowledge that can be applied to actual SMT issues and problems. I regularly use the concepts and calculations learned such as line balancing, downtime, secondary side mounting and others to assist with decision making. I highly recommend the Certification program to engineers working in the SMT industry."

    "My boss always makes certain to let visiting customers know that I am an SMTA Certified Process Engineer, and then they know they can trust our assembly processes and our overall ability and knowledge in SMT".

    The Journal of Surface Mount Technology
    Martin Barton In 1987 or 1988 Martin Barton suggested that the SMTA should be publishing a technical journal. Many people concurred on this, but the question was how we would be able to fund it. Surface Mount '88 was the answer! The funds generated from that event allowed us to publish our first Journal in October of that year. And for the past 21 years the Journal of SMT has been published on a quarterly basis. Thank you Martin!

    The first issue contained just two articles:
  • Reliability of Tape Automated Bonded Circuits, Polly Rouhan and David Sorrells, Digital Equipment Corporation
  • Soldering Fine Pitch Gull Wing VLSI Packages, T.A. Krinke and D.K. Pai, Control Data Corporation

    Download the 1st Journal of SMT In the early years our VP of Communications had the responsibility of producing the Journal. The first issue was done under the watch of Mike Martel and extracting from his first editorial:
    "It is hoped that this Journal, off to an auspicious start, will prove to be a valued reference and source; a compendium of authoritative guideposts for problem solving in SMT manufacturing, and ultimately a chart and record of milestones in the development of SMT. In this spirit, we offer this work, by our colleagues, to you; and we invite you to contribute, to participate, for only in this way can we keep the technology and industry moving positively ahead."

    The first editorial review board consisted of three people: Mike Martel, Dr. Charles Hutchins, and Martin Barton. They were responsible for selecting and reviewing the articles to be published.

    In more recent years we have established a Journal Committee. We would like to thank and recognize all of those members who actively solicit and review articles and we would also like to recognize those volunteers who have chaired this committee over the years: Bruce Inpyn, Jerry Karp, Tom Kuhl, Dr. Chuck Bauer, Dr. Viswam Puligandla, Dr. Srinivas Rao, and most recently Dr. Srini Chada.

    It is curious to note that the price of the journal hasn't changed since its founding: "Published quarterly (October, January, April and July). Annual subscription $30, free to SMTA members." It is one of those few occasions where the quality increases with time but the price does not.

    At this point the Journal of SMT maintains its status as a valuable resource and a respected publication in the industry. The Journal Committee is always in search of high quality, original papers from students, researchers and industry professionals that can be reviewed and published. It is important to note what an excellent opportunity it is to be published in the Journal of SMT with no placement fees, which might accompany other peer-reviewed journals in the industry, and at the same time sharing one's knowledge in a journal recognized and respected within the SMT industry.

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    Two Programs That Live On
    Written by: JoAnn Stromberg, SMTA Administrator

    "Sharing the Knowledge" is a tagline that has been used by the SMTA for many years. For the past 25 years the SMTA has shared technical information with thousands of our industry colleagues. This has been a part of our mission. If you have just entered our industry, we have introduced you to basic SMT. If you are a long-time industry veteran, we have kept you up to speed on today's leading edge research.

    Two programs that we are very proud of are CTPs (originally titled Chapter Training Program and now called Chapter Tutorial Program) and the SMTA Academy. Both of these programs focus on short courses, which we call tutorials. They are taught by outstanding instructors and are offered across the country. They have been a mainstay of the SMTA for the past 18 years.

    Charles Hutchins I recall that Charles Hutchins and I first discussed a CTP program back in 1989. The concept was that we would invite industry leaders to present a course to one of our local chapters. We recognized that not all of our members would be able to attend large national conferences and trade shows. Our local chapters were doing a great job in providing technical information to their members and this program would provide "added value". And, as an additional benefit, these courses would be offered at a very reasonable cost. As they say today, "back in the day", the wheels turned slowly and the first CTP was held in June of 1991 for the Capital Chapter. The subject was DFM and the instructor was Jim Hollomon. Since that time 67 CTPs have been held and 21 of our 33 North American chapters have participated in this program. The chapter who has held the most CTPs is LA/Orange. Some history that might be of interest:
  • Over 2100 people have participated in these courses.
  • The CTPs who have had the most attendance were Zero Defect Soldering (taught by Ralph Woodgate) in Milwaukee in 1995, with 78 attendees and a Lead-Free program with various speakers in Boston in 2005 (96 attendees).
  • And for more trivia: the instructors who have taught the most courses for us are Charles Hutchins, John Maxwell, and Phil Zarrow.

    Something that we are very pleased to share with you is that all profit from these events goes directly to the chapter. We want to recognize the 25 instructors who have taught these courses for us. Sometimes traveling through storms, sometimes missing planes, but always with the knowledge of the great contribution that they were making to a local chapter. Sincere thanks!

    John Biancini In 1991 John Biancini was serving on our Board as Vice President of Technical Programs. In December of that year he approached me about the concept of a "Mobile University". The idea was that we would offer a series of tutorials in various locations. It was building on the idea of a CTP, but rather than offering just one course, we would offer several of them. In October of 1992 our first Academy program was launched in Marlboro, Massachusetts. Sometimes these have been stand alone programs and other times they were offered with events such as NEPCON. The course topics have ranged from Introduction to SMT to Zero Defects to Emerging Technologies. As you might guess, many of these courses in recent years have focused on lead-free challenges. Over 5,000 courses have been taken. Some trivia to share:
  • The two largest programs were held in Dallas in 1997 (170 attendees) and Boston in 2001 (173 attendees).
  • The four courses with the highest attendance have been DFM with Vern Solberg in Columbus (1993), Intro to SMT with Charles Hutchins in Boston (1995), Zero Defect Soldering with Ralph Woodgate in Minneapolis (1998) and Implementing Lead-Free with Ron Lasky in Boston in 2004.
  • Instructors who have taught the most courses: Charles Hutchins and Phil Zarrow

    Two strong programs, two people who had a vision and made it happen. Although Charles has passed away and John is no longer in our industry we want to say a very sincere, "Thank you Charles Hutchins and John Biancini for helping the SMTA share the knowledge. Your light as luminaries will shine on.

    Happy 25th Anniversary SMTA!

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    There's No Business Like "Show Business"...
    Written by: JoAnn Stromberg, SMTA Administrator

    For the past 21 years you have heard about "Surface Mount 88", "SMI", and "SMTA International/SMTAI". What do they all have in common? All are names for SMTA's Annual Conference (which has often included a trade show).

    Surface Mount 88 sign The year was 1988. I had recently assumed the position of Administrator with the SMTA and one of my responsibilities was to organize the largest technical program of the year for the SMTA. With the help of Mike Zurn, Conference Chair, and others (Martin Barton, Frank Liotine, Gene Wolfe, and Phil Zarrow) this would not be a problem, as conference planning was an area of expertise for me. Now…a trade show was another issue. Enter, Mike Levi, of PEC/Levi and Associates. Mike had been actively involved in creating the Midwest Electronics Expo, which was held each year in Minnesota. At that time Mike was serving on the SMTA Board of Directors and he felt strongly about including an exhibition with the conference. Mike knew it was important for the SMTA to provide our supplier members with the opportunity to participate in and meet with the highly qualified attendees of the technical program. Using Mike's relationship with MG Expo Group, Surface Mount '88 was launched to a "standing room only" crowd in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Without Mike's guidance and "push", the SMTA may never have entered "show business". Thank you, Mike.

    Surface Mount '89 was held in San Jose with Charles Hutchins chairing the conference. His team members (Martin Barton, Gene Wolfe, Phil Zarrow, and Mike Zurn) continued to go a great job with the conference. In 1990 we returned to Boston with Steve Dow as conference chair. Our committee that year expanded to also include Rick Charbonneau and Vern Solberg. All three events were extremely successful. SMTA had now developed the reputation of having the best technical conference in the industry!

    Steve Schuldenfrei, Gene Wolfe, and Martin Barton In 1990 we were approached by the IPC and EIA (who had been holding their SMART conference on a yearly basis) about a four way partnership. We were pleased with this suggestion, as it would distribute the workload and was a good move for our industry. The event was re-named SMI and our first event was held in San Jose in 1991. SMI continued in San Jose from 1991 until 1998. Very, very special recognition needs to be given to Martin Barton and Gene Wolfe (both now retired) for the enormous amount of time and effort that they devoted to the success of this event. Martin organized a renowned, world-class conference for those eight years, and along with Gene, they oversaw everything SMI-related on behalf of the SMTAI. This required many, many meetings and conference calls. Their support went "above and beyond" and we recognize them for their many contributions. Thank you, Martin and Gene.

    Following SMI 1998, our partners felt that it was time for SMI to be discontinued. Our strong technical venue was one of SMTA's most important contributions to our industry. We were not willing to have this disappear. We found a new partner with Reed Exposition Group and the event was renamed SMTA International (SMTAI). SMTAI was held in San Jose in 1999 and in Chicago from 2000 through 2006, where it was co-located with the ATExpo. With the sale of the ATExpo in 2007 to a new show group, we were once again looking for a new "home" for SMTAI. We were back in "show business" with the addition of an exhibit hall with a very focused theme—SMT! 2007 and 2008 found us in Orlando. This year's SMTAI will be held in San Diego on October 4 – 8. Very special recognition needs to go to Rob Rowland for serving as our conference chair since 1999. He and the SMTAI Technical Committee have continued the reputation of organizing the industry's strongest technical program. We are glad to welcome back close to 100 companies to our exhibition hall. SMTAI has always offered something for everyone. And this year is no exception. I encourage you to view all SMTAI details at

    Some of you may wonder why so much time and effort is devoted to this event. How do we spend the funds that are generated? There is only one answer…on YOU, our members. As a non-profit association our budget is always "balanced". This means that the revenue taken in is returned to our industry in the form of member benefits. These funds are used to support our 40 local chapters around the world, with personal support from staff, leadership training programs, co-sponsorship of tutorial programs and Expo and Tech Forums, monthly rebates, on-line communication tools and capabilities, and the list goes on and on. The funds have allowed us to produce our Journal of SMT. The funds have allowed us to create new technical programming. The funds have allowed us to continue to improve our Web site. We sincerely appreciate our speakers (over 3,000), our more than 500 exhibiting companies (who have believed in the SMTA and this event), our volunteers, and our attendees. A very warm and sincere thank you!

    Surface Mount, SMI, and SMTAI were all momentous decisions that were made by the SMTA. Their success has impacted our industry and made them a luminary as we celebrate our 25th anniversary. Happy 25th Anniversary SMTA!

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    SMTA Chapters...Our Heart and Soul
    Written by: Gayle Jackson, Director of Chapter Relations

    In surveys sent by SMTA, our members have consistently voted SMTA Chapters as the #1 Member Benefit. Therefore, we honor all chapters and their leaders as 25th Anniversary Luminaries.

    Although we have not been able to confirm it, we believe that the Silicon Valley was our first SMTA chapter. Our newest chapter is Penang, with Inland Northwest and Bangalore chapters in formation. Since 1984 over 800 volunteers have devoted untold hours to the leadership of their local chapter. Selecting speakers, running meetings, stuffing envelopes, writing newsletters, organizing golf outings, making arrangements for meeting venues, updating web sites, making phone calls, overseeing membership drives... these are the unsung heroes of the SMTA. A very warm and a very sincere thank you to all of you. If you link to you will find a list of as many current and past chapter leaders as we could find. If we have missed anyone, please let us know. If you know some of these leaders please thank them for all of their contributions.

    We currently have 40 chapters across the world. There is a wide range of small, medium, and large chapters within the SMTA. Currently, the Upper Midwest Chapter is our largest chapter. The one common goal they share is to provide strong technical programming to their members. They do a great job and we are proud of each chapter. Many of them hold social activities or fundraising events to assist their communities. Many of them also support students and have been wonderful donors to our Hutchins Grant.

    For this luminary article we would like to focus on our SMTAI 2009 host chapter, San Diego.

    According to our records, the San Diego Chapter was formed in 1986, our fifth SMTA Chapter to be established. Those earlier chapters included Ventura, Upper Midwest, San Jose, and Nutmeg Chapters. One detail that sets the San Diego Chapter apart from our other chapters, way back when, was their desire to be innovative and creative. The electronic age hit San Diego before any of our other chapters and they challenged SMTA Headquarters to develop communication tools to be used by chapters. The San Diego Chapter implemented first generation programs of Evite and electronic address books for member communications. Names that come to mind are Zeev Lipkes and Louis Isgur as officers who chose to be cutting-edge in their SMT careers as well as their chapter leadership. Zeev was the first recorded Chapter President of the San Diego Chapter. Other long-time members and previous officers of the San Diego Chapter (just to mention a few) included Art Kohrmann, Marybeth Allen, Greg Hughes and Barry Guest. We owe our thanks to all the past officers of the San Diego Chapter for keeping the local SMT industry involved with each other and the SMTA by maintaining an active local chapter.

    This year the San Diego Chapter has received the honor of 2nd place in our Chapter of the Year Program. To achieve a spot at the top tells us a chapter is exceeding our goals of chapter success, organization and leadership. Congratulations!

    Today the San Diego Chapter has 71 active members. Companies who have continued to maintain membership and support of the SMTA for the past 20 years include Asymtek, KIC, and SMS Technologies, Inc. We recognize and thank these long-time supporters.

    Present officers of the San Diego Chapter include Mumtaz Bora (Peregrine Semiconductor), Gregory Balas (Qualcomm), Dr. Julie Bradbury-Bennett, Peter Dunworth (Hunter Industries), Juan Arteaga (Artek Manufacturing, Inc,) and Tom Wittmer (APS WittcoSales). We recognize our committed officers and wish to thank them as well as all past officers of the San Diego Chapter for their support over the past 23 years. Thank you!

    When we notice recurring names on the officer ballots from some chapters each year, we believe they are very committed to the local chapter and must be having fun, or why would they continue to volunteer? There are some very familiar faces in three of our chapters; each has held various officer positions in their chapter for many years. Riki Brown (LA/Orange County), Gary DiBlanda (Nutmeg, CT), and Mike Jansen (Boston), all have served their chapters as officers for 14 of the past 25 years. Amazing! Each will be recognized as a luminary at our 25th Anniversary Dinner on October 5th, THANK YOU for all that you have done for your chapter and for the SMTA.

    In preparing the groundwork for recognizing our Luminaries for SMTA's Anniversary, we asked our chapters to complete a questionnaire so that we could share their thoughts with you in their own words. One of the questions asked was, "What are your chapter's key accomplishments?" Below are a few responses:
  • Credibility within the technical community to organize fabulous technical programs. (Space Coast Chapter)
  • Establishing the ongoing successful IPC soldering, inspection and repair certification program at the Curie High School in Chicago. (Great Lakes)
  • Our incredible 1st Vendor Expo we held this year. It was well attended and bigger than anyone expected. (Tennessee Valley)
  • Keeping the chapter active over the years….now our current hope is to start a student chapter in our area. (Houston)
  • Helping others. Our chapter has generously made contributions to Make-A-Wish Foundation, Joseph Sam's School, Brain Tumor Foundation for Children, victims of Hurricane Katrina, and our chapter made arrangements for an annual Student Scholarship Program. Our Expo has been successful and has grown over the past 12 years so that we have been able to support our commitment of "giving back". (Atlanta)
  • The Board's continuing commitment to maintaining cost effective valuable training events for our members. (LA/Orange County)
  • Annual Golf Tournament held consecutively for 18 years. (Upper Midwest)

    Very impressive! Another question asked was, "What activities would you like to brag about?" Again, just to mention a few:
  • First ever SMTA Chapter meeting by video conference to two remote sites. (Atlantic Canada)
  • Our Chapter Training Program on "Pre-Certification" – a first for chapters. (Ohio Valley)
  • Highest meeting attendance was a plant tour consisting of 65 attendees, and included more than one-half of our chapter's SMTA members. (Nutmeg)

    Without our "Heart and Soul" SMTA would be history. With our "Heart and Soul" we continue to make history. Special thanks to our chapter leaders and volunteers over the past 25 years!

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    National Leadership...the strength of the SMTA
    Written by: JoAnn Stromberg, SMTA Administrator

    Over 25 years the SMTA has been fortunate to have such strong leaders serving on our Board of Directors. I have had the honor of knowing almost all of them. And I have had the privilege of watching their leadership skills grow, and most importantly, see the friendships that developed.

    Process engineers to company Presidents. College professors to those heading up R&D. Sales and marketing to Ph.D's. The SMTA has welcomed all who wanted to serve and share their skills. Eighty five who were committed to making the SMTA the best it could be! Four have passed away: Mike Brisky, Charles Hutchins, John Jerke, and Norb Socolowski. Their contributions will never be forgotten. Some have left our industry for other professions: teaching, writing, Park and Rec departments, the ministry, and even a drummer! 10% are now retired. And 10% were women. An accomplishment to be proud of. When Gayle and I attended Surface Mount 88 in Marlborough, Massachusetts, there were four women attending (and we were two of them!)

    Two chapters, Silicon Valley and Upper Midwest, have provided us with the most Board members. Boston is a very close second.

    Back in 1996 I submitted a report to our Board that said, "A good Board is not a gift, but a victory!" And indeed, the same holds true today. These are the people who have been our strongest advocates when it came to member benefits, programs, and growth of the SMTA..

    The 11 individuals listed below have served as our SMTA Presidents. As a professional and as a President, each one fulfilled a definition of leadership "enabling a group to engage together in the process of developing, sharing and moving into vision, and then living it out."

    1985Norb Socolowski (Alpha Metals)
    1986Jim Hollomon (AMTI)
    1987 - 1989Martin Barton (Rockwell Automation)
    1990Jim Walker (National Semiconductor, now at Gartner/Dataquest))
    1991 - 1992Dr. Charles Hutchins (Texas Instruments and Hutchins Associates)
    1993 & 1995Bruce Inpyn (Pitney-Bowes)
    1994Dr. Jennie Hwang (H-Technologies Group)
    1996 - 1999Greg Evans (Indium Corporation)
    2000 - 2004Rod Howell (Libra Industries)
    2005 - 2009David Raby (STI Electronics)
    2009 - 2010Dr. Dan Baldwin (Engent)

    Norb Socolowski In an attempt to recognize so many leaders, I would like to focus on several of our Presidents. I met Norb Socolowski, our first President, many years ago. As an industry icon and solder expert, he was always willing to share information with others in our industry. He was a kind and generous man and such fun! As the SMTA's first president, he devoted many hours to the association that he was so proud to be a part of. Long after his tenure as President (1985), he continued to support the SMTA with papers and presentations, and was always willing to respond to a technical question or share his wealth of information.

    During the early years of SMI in San Jose, Norb would always stop by to visit and bring a treat for our staff members to share. At the time of our 20th anniversary, I received a large (and well packed) box that contained a ceramic Wizard, which had been given as a speaker gift at the first SMT conferences. It sits on the file cabinet in my office and reminds me of the many contributions made by one of our early industry pioneers, Norb Socolowski.

    Norb was manager of product development at Alpha Metals, Inc., and spent 18 years with the company (now Cookson Electronics) in development and engineering of solder assembly materials, focused on SMT and hybrid package assembly products. Norb earned a bachelor's in mining engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and a bachelor's in industrial engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. He remained active in the SMTA throughout his life, including his term as president, and also served as chairman of the IPC Solder Paste Specification Committee.

    Dr. Dan Baldwin Jumping quickly through the years to Dan Baldwin, our current SMTA President. I remember I first met Dan many years ago during an Atlanta Chapter tour of Georgia Tech. Dan has just completed the first year of a two year term as President. Many of you have had the opportunity to hear Dan talk about Emerging Technologies at local chapter venues. Dan has also taught a number of courses for us over the years. I think I once embarrassed Dan (who is a pretty modest guy) when I told him if I could pick one person to sit and "brainstorm" with, it would be him. Dan is a man of many great ideas.

    Dan is the President of Engent, Inc. which provides enabling process technologies and manufacturing services in the areas of electronics, optoelectronics, and MEMS. He was formerly the Vice President of the Advanced Assembly Technology Division at Siemens Dematic Electronic Assembly Systems. He also holds an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering position at the Georgia Institute of Technology heading the Low Cost Flip Chip Processing program for the Packaging Research Center, the Advanced Interconnect Technologies Research Program for the Manufacturing Research Center, and the Low Cost Assembly Processing Program for the CBAR. In addition, he was the recipient of the 1998 Outstanding Research Faculty of the Year Award and 1995-1996 Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award from the NSF - Packaging Research Center for his exemplary contributions in research, education, technology transfer, and infrastructure development. Dan received his S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT in 1990 and 1994, respectively. He has eleven years of experience in the electronics manufacturing and polymer processing industries, four U.S. Patents, over 100 scholarly publications, and expertise in electronics packaging, MEMS packaging, advanced materials processing and manufacturing systems design. We are very honored to have Dan as a part of our Leadership Team.

    Rod Howell And I could not end this article without recognizing the person who has served the longest on our Board of Directors. Rod Howell, Libra Industries, has served on our Board for 11 of 25 years. This is an outstanding contribution and we want to say, thank you, Rod, for your many, many contributions over that time.

    Rod served on the Board of Directors from 1993 to 1999. He served on the Planning Committee and was also the SMTA Treasurer. He then went on to serve a four year term as our SMTA President from 2000 to 2004. Rod was a champion for our members and always led the way in coming up with new and additional membership benefits. Rod began his SMTA career as a chapter officer with the Ohio Valley Chapter and he never hesitates to share with people his love of our chapters and all that they do and all that they stand for. Our chapters have always had a great advocate in Rod. For as many years as we have known Rod, he has encouraged and supported Libra employees to become involved as chapter leaders, serving on committees, and participating at SMTA events both nationally and locally. What I really want to highlight, however, is Rod's dedication during his four years as SMTA President. His strong leadership skills kept our Board focused and on track. He was always willing to listen to "all sides", yet he also knew how to get the group to compromise. Rod served the SMTA during some of its best times and also guided us through our worst time. I cannot begin to guess the number of hours he devoted to the SMTA, but what I do know is that it went FAR, FAR beyond the role of an association volunteer leader. His was a dedication that knew no bounds.

    And most importantly, so many of these fine leaders have become my friends. We have laughed together, we have learned together, we have struggled together, and we have celebrated together. I wish this article could include all of the outstanding volunteers who served you, our members. I encourage you to take the time to link to where you will find a list of everyone who has served on our SMTA Board of Directors over 25 years. If you know some of these people, I hope you will thank them for a job well done!

    Happy 25th Anniversary SMTA! We're going for "GOLD" in 2034!

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    The Founders and First Board of Directors
    Let's Start at the Very Beginning...

    Written by: JoAnn Stromberg, SMTA Administrator

    The year was 1984. I was not yet affiliated with the SMTA. Linda West, the first Executive Director of the SMTA, became involved in the SMT industry in 1972. As a production control manager for a hybrid facility she was familiar with the frustrations of seeking answers to design and manufacturing problems.

    In 1983 Linda organized a company called IPAC that would help to centralize and disburse information on this "hot" new technology... SMT. She networked with numerous industry colleagues about the value of sharing information with others in the industry. In 1984 the Articles of Incorporation were filed to establish the SMTA as a non-profit association. Throughout 1984 meetings were held all across the US and Canada to introduce companies and individuals to the SMTA. Through these meetings, the guidelines and goals for the SMTA were established.

    The first annual meeting of the SMTA was held on February 27, 1984 at the Hyatt Anaheim. The speaker was John Sammis of Johanson Dielectrics.

    A page from the Expo SMT89 program In 1985 Linda's company, IPAC, began planning for a tradeshow and conference that was named EXPO SMT. Some of you "oldies" (like me) may remember the WIZARD theme that was shown everywhere. I still have a ceramic wizard from these events that was kindly given to me by SMTA's first president, Norb Socolowski. The assembly line was even called the WIZ Line! The EXPO SMT events were initially held in Las Vegas at the Riviera Hotel.

    In conjunction with EXPO SMT Linda published a newsletter called "Nutshell News". This was not an SMTA publication, but rather a promotional piece for the EXPO. In reviewing the very first issue (June 1987) I was delighted to see names of people who are STILL active in the SMTA today—Mike Zurn, Jim Walker, and Phil Zarrow.

    As IPAC and EXPO SMT grew, the Board of Directors felt there was a potential conflict of interest with Linda's management of the SMTA. Over many difficult months the Board reached a decision to hire a new management company for the SMTA. In the summer of 1987 I was awarded the contact to manage the SMTA.

    As the SMTA celebrates our 25th anniversary we would like to recognize Linda and the "Founding Fathers" listed below for the many hours of dedication that were required to develop a mission, a charter, bylaws, envision the potential of chapters, and create a source of technical information for our industry that is, to this day, unsurpassed. The vision of these early SMT pioneers and volunteers eventually turned into an association…the SMTA. Happy 25th!

    Frank Haigh
    Don Kuk
    Roger Meade
    Chuck Richardson
    George Soderberg
    Len Tepper
    Linda West

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