Ph.D. student awarded inaugural IBM SRC Dennard Fellowship


May 26, 2015

Semiconductor Research Corporation, the world’s leading university-research consortium for semiconductor technologies, named Benjamin Niewenhuis, a doctoral student at Carnegie Mellon University, as the inaugural recipient of the IBM SRC Robert H. Dennard Fellowship.

Established to honor Dr. Robert Dennard’s impact on the semiconductor industry, the fellowship offers the unique opportunity for recipients to engage in industry research while pursuing a Ph.D. Fellows become key participants in IBM and SRC research leading to high-payoff solutions for the technology challenges faced by the industry. The program includes full tuition and a competitive stipend for up to three years, with the option to renew for an additional year. It also connects students with IBM researchers, who provide mentorship and engagement with research opportunities in concert with university research.

“Dr. Robert H. Dennard, an IBM Fellow Emeritus, has made outstanding contributions to the semiconductor industry since joining IBM Research in 1963, including the development of a theory for scaling MOSFETs and the invention of the dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) cell,” says Dr. T.C. Chen, IBM Fellow and vice president, science and technology. “The IBM SRC Robert H. Dennard Fellowship was established to honor Dr. Dennard and to encourage outstanding doctoral students to pursue studies that will likely impact the semiconductor industry in the future.”

A third-year doctoral student studying electrical and computer engineering, Niewenhuis has an abiding interest in the semiconductor manufacturing process. During his time at Carnegie Mellon, he has worked on research teams studying such topics as physically unclonable function in silicon chips, guidelines for circuit designers and how they relate to chip failures, and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of test chips. He is also a previous recipient of the Northrop Grumman Graduate Student Fellowship and the Bradford and Diane Smith Graduate Fellowship.

“It is a great honor to have the inaugural Dennard Fellowship awarded to Ben,” says Shawn Blanton, professor of electrical and computer engineering, associate director of the Joint Institute of Engineering and director of the Center for Silicon System Implementation at Carnegie Mellon. “It is extra special for us since Dr. Dennard is an important alumnus of Carnegie Mellon University, a trailblazer that has set the standard of excellence for both Carnegie Mellon and the semiconductor industry. Ben is an outstanding researcher with both the ability and drive to have tremendous breadth and uncompromising depth in his work. He, I am sure, will be an outstanding ambassador for this wonderful award.”

SRC’s Graduate Fellowship Program awards research fellowships to the most talented students in fields related to the semiconductor industry. The program seeks to improve educational opportunities and supply the industry with a relevantly educated workforce by encouraging academically gifted U.S./permanent residents to pursue doctoral degrees in research areas consistent with SRC program goals and developing the highest quality graduates for member companies and universities.

Original press release posted here.