Professional and Continuing Education

Pawley Hall, Room 440G
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-3177
[email protected]

The exterior of the Engineering Center at Oakland University

Semiconductor Fundamentals Certificate Program

Semiconductor technology is a highly complex field that demands proficiency in a range of disciplines, including physics, manufacturing, and device engineering. Not all engineering programs can offer semiconductor and microelectronics curricular and research programs due to the requirement for cleanroom fabrication and sophisticated equipment for manufacturing microdevices. Oakland University (OU)'s School of Engineering and Computer Science (SECS) is fortunate to have a microelectronics credit program with comprehensive courses and a 1400-sq ft, Class 1000 cleanroom in the Engineering Center for hand-on-training. We recently developed a non-credit certificate program entitled, Introduction to Semiconductor Fundamentals, designed to upskill Professional Engineers interested in the semiconductor discipline.

Semiconductor Fundamentals

These three topics offer fundamentals to the principles, material structure, fabrication processes of semiconductor devices.

Module 1: Semiconductor Materials and Devices

This course on semiconductor basics will cover the following topics essential to semiconductors and microelectronics: semiconductor crystals; charges in semiconductor; energy bands of the charges in semiconductors, equilibrium and non-equilibrium states of charges in semiconductors; semiconductor-metal contacts; semiconductor diodes; bipolar junction transistors (BJT) and metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFET).

Module 2: Integrated Circuits and Building Blocks

This module addresses fundamental device structures and functional blocks in integrated circuits. Compared to discrete devices, various special effects are involved in integrated circuits.  Accordingly, the circuit design and individual device implementations are different from circuits built with discrete semiconductor devices.


  • Transition and requirements from discrete semiconductor devices to integrated circuits
  • Structures of BJTs and MOSFETs in integrated circuits
  • Digital gate and logic circuits
  • Building blocks of digital and analog integrated circuits such as active loads, cascoding, current mirrors and DC biasing techniques, reference sources and IC performance improvement
  • BJT and MOSFET linear amplifiers

Module 3: Discrete and Integrated Circuit Design Using Cadence

The design of semiconductor devices and ICs involves comprehensive understanding of the device structures and the technologies used in device fabrication. Electronic design automation (EDA) tools are also crucial in implementation of the design. Module 3 offers such coverage with trainees’ hands-on experience in circuit design using Cadence — a mainstream EDA platform for IC design.


  • Major performance parameters of analog and digital circuits
  • Frequency responses and timing of digital gate circuits
  • Power design
  • Interconnect
  • Combinational and sequential design approaches
  • Transmission line
  • Device models in ICs
  • Hands-on experience with Cadence for circuit design and simulation such as platform configuration, technology selection, chematics and simulation, layout, post layout simulation, design optimization, tap-out procedure

Trainees will use OU SECS’s Cadence platform through remote access.

Instructor Expertise

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Oakland University supports a variety of renowned researchers, eager to shine through their students. Specifically, the Semiconductor program includes a set of specialists with decades of experience with the cutting-edge technology.

Dr. Hongwei Qu - Professor

The lead instructor for the program is Dr. Hongwei Qu. Dr. Qu is a professor at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Oakland University. He has 30 years of experience in semiconductor devices and technologies. Currently his research interest centers at CMOS-MEMS sensors, integration process and materials for reliable connectivity and packaging. He has also conducted research in other areas including solid-state photonic and magnetic devices. At Oakland, he has completed a number of federal and state-supported research projects with grants totaling over $3M. In completion of these projects, he has graduated 5 PhD students and 6 MS students at Oakland. Dr. Qu has over 70 journal publications in these research areas. He has collaborations with many researchers in major universities in Michigan.

Dr. Amanpreet Kaur - Associate Professor

Amanpreet Kaur is an Assistant Professor at Oakland University. She received her B.S. degree from Punjab Technical University, India in 2005, M.S. degree from PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh, India in 2007, and a Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Michigan State University (MSU), East Lansing, MI, USA, in 2016.

Dr. Kaur has received several awards, including the NSF ERI, Oakland University Faculty Research Fellowship, NIST grant, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation for Developing a Semiconductor Training Program for Automotive Engineers. She is also a senior member of IEEE since 2018 and is currently serving as Associate Editor and Guest Editor for IEEE T-CPMT and MDPI Sensors special issue, "Antenna Systems for 5G Communication Systems. Additionally, she has served as co-chair for the Interactive Presentation Session at the IEEE ECTC conference and International Microwave Symposium (IMS).