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Electronics Production | December 22, 2004

Lead-Free Solder Award

Soldertec Global announced that four Lead-free Solder Awards will be granted in 2004 - with the winners selected from nominations received from industry.
As the July 2006 lead-free RoHS compliance deadline draws near, this year's award selections have been designed to reward strong leadership and communication within the electronics industry, and, contributions to the vital activities of basic research and standards development.

This year there is a Consortium Award, Standardisation Award, Service Award, and for the first time, an award for an outstanding academic researcher. The winners are:

A E4 group Jan van de Water (Philips Semiconductors, Netherlands), Carlo Cognetti (ST Microelectronics, Switzerland), Sheila Chopin (Freescale Semiconductor, USA) and Jurgen Winterer (Infineon Technologies, Germany).
B Katsumi Yamamoto (Sony and JEITA, Japan)
C Ronald Gedney (NEMI National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative, USA)
D Dr.Hiroshi Nishikawa (Osaka University, Japan)

The E4 group, has been selected to receive a Lead-free Consortium Award in recognition of the group's collaboration on promotion of standards, and a shared conversion strategy and roadmap for the transition to lead-free soldering. Collaboration has also produced many documents on whisker risk prevention in lead-free tin plated components helping the entire industry to meet lead-free targets on time.

The Standardisation Award recognises the achievements of Katsumi Yamamoto of Sony Japan, and the Standards Management Committee of JEITA (Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association) which have helped to smooth the path to lead-free soldering. His work on the Japan national standardisation project helped to establish a firm base for the implementation of lead-free technology and new standards for whisker, solderability and other testing. Mr Yamamoto has played an important role in international co-operation and the widespread promotion of lead-free, and been responsible for the initiation of many essential research based working groups, for example on low temperature soldering.

The Lead-free Solder Service Award has been granted to Ronald Gedney, the recently retired Vice President of Operations of NEMI. The award recognises leadership and technical expertise, mentoring of younger researchers, and broad involvement in the international activities to eliminate lead from electronic assemblies. NEMI organised a key project developing manufacturing capability to produce high volume lead-free products; the team recommended an industry-standard alloy, and followed up with extensive testing to characterise the new materials and demonstrate reliability. This project moved the industry forward in knowledge and understanding of lead-free materials and processes.

For the first time, Soldertec Global has also granted an award for achievement in academic research, and in 2004 has acknowledged the work of Dr Hiroshi Nishikawa of Osaka University. His published papers cover diverse areas such as interfacial microstructures after ageing and environmentally conscious assembly processes. He is considered to be one of the most active young researchers in the field of lead-free soldering and electronic packaging.

"Yet again we are delighted by the tremendous response in nominations which we have received for our Lead-free Solder Awards and we are very grateful to all who participated. With industry now hard at work to ensure a smooth transition to lead-free soldering we decided that this year the awards would reflect the continuing need for communication between organisations and strong leadership in both research and industry" comments Tom Perrett, Marketing Manager at Soldertec Global. "We are pleased to be able to give an award for work on standards which will help companies make the transition towards using lead-free solders in future electronic assemblies. The work of a dedicated few who sit on such committees is vital to the health of our industry. We are also very pleased to be able to recognise some of the academic achievements which also play a vital role in improving the basic understanding of lead-free technology."

The Soldertec Global Lead-free Award was established in 1999. The initial Award was granted to Dr Kenichiro Suetsugu of Panasonic, Japan in recognition of the successful introduction of lead-free soldering in mass production of the portable MiniDisc SJ-MJ30-S. Since 1999 recipients have included industrial consortiums, material suppliers and lead-free users from North America, Europe and Asia.

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