September 1, 2002
A labor day special report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it," first saluted workers in dirt-drenched fields such as home renovation, coke plants, portable toilet maintenance, and machinery, and then concluded by offering a few words on cleaning up via the Data Storage Systems Center (DSSC)'s Nanofabrication Facility's Cleanroom.
Robert M. White, Director of the DSSC and University Professor of ECE and EPP, said although the cleanroom ironically sits where the coal furnaces that heated campus once were, it is now so clean that the air is filtered twice, maintained at 68 degrees, and classified by the low number of particles it contains. Users must wear protective gear, clear their shoes on fly paper mats, and leave cardboard and paper behind. Chris Bowman, Director of the Nanofabrication Facility noted that "a smoke particle is 20 micrometers," while the microscopic circuits and devices studied in the room are only 1 micrometer.