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A Puzzling PCB Passion – A Conversation With Susy Webb


In a world that is constantly changing, so too is the world of PCB. As new engineers enter the field, it is important for them to know all the ins and outs of their career path to succeed.

We had the opportunity to chat with Susy Webb, an expert engineer with over forty years of PCB design experience, to discuss the changes within the PCB world over the years and what new engineers need to know now.

A Puzzling Passion

According to Webb, if you are not keeping up, you are moving backwards in the field of engineering. “This is a very complex field, and we have a lot of information built up in our heads over the years of how to do things correctly and how to work with others,” said Webb. There are several rules and regulations in the industry and remembering everything while designing is a task.

Relaying this important information is something Webb has set out to do over the years. She has taught around the world in places such as Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico. “It’s a fun way to expand my information and share my information too. I get a lot of questions from people that I hadn’t thought about,” said Webb. She served on the IPC Designers Council on the executive board for many years as well as wrote for Printed Circuit Design and Fabrication magazine.

Webb’s passion for PCB design began back when she started in the Mylar and tape days. “It was a little bit like doing an art project or a puzzle. It’s moving the pieces of the puzzle around in your brain to figure out how you’re going to solve that problem,” said Webb. Although the process of creating boards has changed since then, it is still like solving a puzzle and making sure everybody’s needs are accounted for, in Webb’s opinion.

Keeping Up with Change

“The past 15 to 20 years have been the most challenging of my career just because things are moving and changing so fast,” observed Webb. So how does she recommend staying up to date? “Keep reading and learning about board design,” said Webb. She suggested attending conferences, classes, and to reach out to other engineers. Another way Webb recommends educating engineers is through webinars.

As an educator herself, Webb is being sponsored by EMA and PCB2DAY to host a day long webinar on February 23rd, 2021. She plans to give an overview of the processes of board design from her perspective. The webinar will discuss how electronics and physics are involved, general placement, planes and stack-up structure, signal routing, fanouts, HDI technology, and much more. “I am trying to touch on as much as I can about the process of designing boards and I could talk for a week, but in reality, I have a day,” said Webb. She hopes to have attendees walk away with a better understanding of how complex engineering can be. “If you stand still, you’re moving backwards in this business because everything is just changing very quickly,” said Webb.

If you would like to hear the interview in full, listening to our recording here: Susy Webb Interview



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