Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor W. Robert Daasch was among a group of three other Maseeh College faculty and staff honored by PSU President Wim Wiewel at a special ceremony in Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom on March 6, 2012, for their length of service to Portland State University. Professor Daasch was honored for 25 years of service to PSU.
For a university professor, a telling sign that your research has had an impact is when an idea you originally fought for becomes an industry standard. This is the case for Professor Daasch, who joined the Electrical Engineering Department at PSU in 1986. Co-Director of the Integrated Circuits Design and Test Laboratory (ICDTL), Professor Daasch’s main area of research concerns digital and analog integrated circuit design and testing.
Integrated circuits are used ubiquitously in modern electronics, including computers, mobile phones, and other digital appliances. Integrated circuits are designed to a very fine detail. However, manufacturing integrated circuits introduces both statistical variation and random failure that design cannot easily predict.
In the early years of the ICDTL, Professor Daasch considered that the process of manufacturing integrated circuits could be improved by examining statistical variation and random failure simultaneously, which up to then, companies had examined separately. When Professor Daasch requested data for his research from integrated circuits manufacturers, however, he ran into a wall. With persistence and a little serendipity, the ICDTL was able to secure its own semiconductor tester, one of the first in an academic environment at that time. Professor Daasch was able to pursue his research and collect the data himself with the help of many graduate students, eventually proving it was advantageous to think about random defects and random variation at the same time. Today, integrated circuits manufacturers voluntarily share their data with the ICDTL, whose research results have helped improve several generations of integrated circuit design.
After achieving success with the research of the ICDTL, Professor Daasch’s goal is for his program to grow and to have a broader impact on the curriculum. A third generation academic, he is also keen to play a greater role in service to the institution of the university. After 9-10 years as a member of the PSU Faculty Senate, he will serve as its President for the next academic year Fall 2012-2013.