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Microtechnologists in the cleanroom: an indispensable profession in the networked society

Fraunhofer IISB will be providing information about the exciting job of the future at the Vocatium vocational training fair in Erlangen on 17 and 18 April.

Ohne sie geht nichts – weder im Smartphone noch im Auto oder Flugzeug. Mikrochips sind der Schlüssel für die voranschreitende Digitalisierung und Vernetzung, aber auch für Mobilität und Energieversorgung. Möglich macht die schnelle Entwicklung unter anderem ein ganz besonderes Berufsfeld: Mikrotechnologinnen und Mikrotechnologen entwickeln und fertigen winzige Halbleiterbauelemente, Sensoren und Schaltungen. Die Ausbildung für diese außergewöhnlichen Fachrichtung ist in der Metropolregion Nürnberg zum Beispiel am Fraunhofer IISB in Erlangen möglich. Das Institut informiert am 17. und 18. April zu dem spannenden Job der Zukunft auf der Berufsbildungsmesse Vocatium in Erlangen.

"I wanted to work with my hands, to do something related to reality," says Kevin Ehrensberger. He successfully completed his training as a microtechnologist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB in Erlangen in 2021 and was even honoured by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for his outstanding achievements. It is no coincidence that he ended up working in the world of semiconductors and in the institute's cleanroom laboratory: Kevin and his colleagues produce the smallest components for electrical applications with great sensitivity, operate the complex production facilities and measuring equipment with precision, carry out chemical analyses and ensure that everything runs smoothly. In this way, they make ever more powerful parts and components possible and thus make a major contribution to the further development of smartphones, electric vehicles and satellite technology.


A network for innovation

The Fraunhofer IISB clean room is one of several INNOHubs in the Nuremberg metropolitan region. The INNOHubs series shows the network of laboratories, competence centres, workshops and think tanks. The focus is on the people who drive innovation in the region every day - and all those who will do so in the future. The employees, trainees and students of the INNOHubs provide an insight into their work at and provide young people with job and training prospects, as well as information on exciting study programmes.


Becoming part of technological progress

"Microtechnologists know how to produce tiny marvels and experience technological progress practically in real time," says Stephanie Natzer, Head of Training at Fraunhofer IISB. The apprenticeship is still relatively new, and there are currently only a few microtechnologists in Bavaria. Anyone interested should have a passion for electronics, physics and chemistry, and a love of detail is also an advantage. The work at Fraunhofer IISB is characterised by a combination of theoretical work with semiconductors and microchips and practical work on tiny components and laboratory equipment. "In the workshop, we learn how to make workpieces according to technical drawings and in the clean room we learn all about the manufacturing processes for integrated circuits such as lithography, ion implantation, dry and wet etching, thermal oxidation or metallisation," says Kevin Ehrensberger about his day-to-day work. The apprenticeship is a perfect fit for the metropolitan region, which has been researching and working on microelectronics for 80 years: As early as 1946, Siemens moved a semiconductor laboratory to Pretzfeld in Franconian Switzerland, where it achieved pioneering work that is used worldwide today. Fraunhofer IISB and FAU are continuing this tradition with high-tech research. The Nuremberg Metropolitan Region has always been a driver of innovation; today, 21 universities, around 50 research institutions and around 150 global market leaders are shaping developments in various sectors.


Career guidance also via app

The Vocatium training fair will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 17 and 18. At the Fraunhofer IISB stand, visitors can collect exclusive extra points in the InnoHikes app. The app is aimed at students, trainees and young professionals who can use it to playfully discover innovations and career opportunities in the Nuremberg metropolitan region. Users of the app collect points by means of "challenges" until May 12, which bring participants closer to the main prizes distributed each year.


More information about the microtechnologist apprenticeship and the entire #INNOHubs story can be found here.

The InnoHikes app in "hiker mode" can be used to collect valuable extra points at the Fraunhofer IISB stand at the Vocatium training fair in Erlangen.

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