EE student receives Young Award at ICEP 2004

Michelle Leung

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Mr Ahmed Sharif, a PhD student of the Department of Electronic Engineering, won the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) / Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology (CPMT) Society’s Young Award, for his research paper on lead-free solder presented at the International Conference on Electronics Packaging (ICEP) 2004. Mr Sharif was the only winner from Hong Kong. This once again demonstrates that the University’s applied research work enjoys world-wide recognition.


In view of the market’s need for lead-free electronic products, Mr Sharif investigated the joint reliability and microstructures of lead-free solders. “There is an increasing global demand for ‘green’ electronic materials as the European Commission’s directives on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), and Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), will be implemented in August 2005 and July 2006, respectively,” he said. “All electronic products imported to EU countries thereafter must be free of certain hazardous substances, including lead. Similar environmental regulations are also under consideration on the mainland, in Japan and the US. Lead is the most commonly used soldering material in electronic products nowadays. I believe that a move towards lead-free soldering is inevitable in the near future.” In line with this trend, Mr Sharif’s research examined a lead-free solder system applicable to an environmentally-friendly electronics packaging process and facilitating the recycling of electronic waste.


Jointly sponsored by the IEEE CPMT Society of Japan and IMAPS Japan (International Microelectronics and Packaging Society Japan), ICEP is Japan’s only international conference on electronics packaging. The Young Award was established by the IEEE-CPMT Japan Chapter to encourage the work of young researchers under the age of 35. ICEP 2004 attracted professionals and researchers from 14 countries and regions across America, Europe and Asia to share their expertise. Mr Sharif’s was one of only four award-winning technical papers selected from among the 80 papers presented at the Conference.


A teacher at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in his home country, Mr Sharif chose to pursue his doctoral degree at CityU. “CityU’s Department of Electronic Engineering is equipped with advanced facilities and has a pool of renowned professors, many of whom, such as my supervisor, Professor Y C Chan, are IEEE fellows. Under his supervision, I enjoyed complete freedom to conduct my research and I benefited from his inspiration,” he said.


Dedicated to research on advanced electronics packaging and assemblies, failure analysis and reliability engineering, Professor Chan has been carrying out applied research projects in close partnership with industry. Under his leadership, the Centre for Electronic Packaging and Assemblies, Failure Analysis and Reliability Engineering (EPA Centre) explores the design, manufacturing and packaging of green electronic products with Intertek Testing Services Hong Kong Ltd.’s support.


Professor Chan attaches great importance to university-industry partnership. “Pinpointing the market needs and improving productivity and quality is the right direction for applied research and to which the joint efforts of the University and industry contribute. CityU maintains a close partnership with, and receives generous support from industry, both for teaching and for research activities,” he said. In coming years, the EPA Centre will continue to work with Intertek on RoHS research projects for industry.


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