Intel deal with Irish university a world first
Chip giant Intel has signed an agreement with National University of Ireland (NUI) Maynooth to deliver an innovative master’s of engineering degree programme that will upskill 15 Intel professionals based at the company’s Leixlip plant.
The modules will be tailored specifically to the innovative and highly market-sensitive work undertaken by Intel in its multi-billion microprocessor development industry.
Intel's Technology Campus Europe, located at Leixlip, currently employs approximately 5,000 people directly and indirectly.
The plant, which produces flash memory and logic devices, is equipped to run over 65 individual products – three times that of any other similar Intel plant in the world.
Its Fab 24 plant, also at Leixlip, is one of Intel's most technologically advanced, high-volume manufacturing facilities in the world building multi-core microprocessors.
Some 75pc of Intel Ireland employees have higher-level qualifications in the fields of science, engineering or technology.
"Intel is a true global leader in every sense of the word," explained NUI Maynooth president, Professor John Hughes.
"It is very important to the Irish economy and, of course, is a great neighbour of ours in Kildare. We are building a reputation for international excellence at NUI Maynooth and we are delighted to support Intel in delivering top-class, industry-relevant, accredited master's education to its staff.
"Strong links between universities and industry are vital for the sustainability of the global economy and it is something we value highly at NUI Maynooth," Hughes added.
The Master's of Engineering (ME) programme allows Intel engineers to advance their skills in the highly specialised technologies of their own workplace, while also acquiring advanced level knowledge in broader, related areas.
Intel students will receive an ME degree award from NUI Maynooth at the end of their studies, which may be undertaken over two or three years on a part-time basis through distance learning over the internet.
This co-operation follows the recent establishment of Intel's US-based College of Engineering, which is responsible for developing and directing in-house courses and other solutions for the educational requirements of Intel's engineering staff worldwide.
''The standard of learning delivered through the ME programme at Maynooth is world-class and we are delighted to build this relationship, which will drive and accredit the work of our College of Engineering," Intel vice-president of technology and manufacturing and general manager of Intel Ireland, Jim O'Hara explained.
"This programme is unique within the Intel organisation and we plan to roll it out to employees at our campuses throughout the world," O'Hara added.
By John Kennedy