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There is a global need for microelectronics that are safe, reliable, and trustworthy. However, the design and manufacturing of these microchips is challenged by a number of factors, including disruptions of the manufacturing chain as well as an urgent need for a rapid increase in the skilled microelectronics workforce.

The Scalable Asymmetric Lifecycle Engagement (SCALE) network addresses this need. SCALE is the preeminent U.S. program for semiconductor workforce development in the defense sector.

Led by Purdue University, funded by the Department of Defense and managed by NSWC Crane, SCALE facilitates a different approach to training highly-skilled U.S. microelectronics engineers, hardware designers, and manufacturing experts, ensuring U.S. leadership in this important area. SCALE brings together a public-private academic partnership of 22 universities and 48 partners within the defense industry and government.

SCALE provides unique courses, mentoring, internship and targeted research project matching, scholarships and job placement assistance for graduate and undergraduate students interested in five microelectronics specialty areas: Radiation Hardening (RH), Heterogeneous Integration / Advanced Packaging HI/AP), System on Chip (SoC), Embedded System Security / Trusted AI (ESS/AI), and Radio Frequency & Opto-Electronics (RF/OE) to help prepare students for upcoming needs in this rapidly advancing microelectronics field.

Scalable Asymmetric Lifecycle Engagement (SCALE) Summary 2024 - Brief

Scalable Asymmetric Lifecycle Engagement (SCALE) Summary 2024 - Full

Statistics (as of May, 2024)

  • 800+ students selected to date (since Feb, 2020)
  • 520+ SCALE students currently enrolled at SCALE universities
  • 256 students graduated to date
  • Over 110 faculty and staff
  • 22 universities
  • 186 new full time job placements recorded
  • Over 66% of graduating undergrads entered defense microelectronics sector
  • Demonstrated 80% SCALE acceptance rate in First-time Researcher feeder program
  • 75 public, private and academic partners
  • $45M in DoD funding


Unparalleled training opportunities

Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in SCALE get mentoring, internship and research opportunities at leading companies, universities and federal research organizations that are part of the network.

Learn more about the benefits of participation

Tailored curriculum

SCALE provides both introductory microelectronics modules and advanced curriculum covering advanced topics such as radiation hardening and system on chip.

Learn more about curriculum in technical areas of microelectronics