Diversity and Outreach

Diversity and Outreach

Diversity is a prerequisite of excellence. ASAP’s leadership is committed to diversity and a culture of inclusion. We will also engage our own institutional infrastructure and industry foundations to support ASAP’s diversity and inclusivity goals.

How ASAP Is Engaging

The recently established Institute for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) at the Grainger College of Engineering, is led by our center participating faculty member, Prof. Lynford Goddard, as its founding director. Prof. Shaloo Rakheja (Center Director) also is affiliated with IDEA. The mission of IDEA is to support scholarship, innovation, collaboration, and leadership with a laser focus on inclusion, diversity, equity, and access at all levels: faculty, staff, students, and in K-12 outreach/public engagement. In all outreach activities proposed below, ASAP will work with IDEA closely at every step to educate, reflect, recruit, and retain diverse talents and empower them to become leaders in microelectronics and other related industries.

ASAP provides an extremely unique and exciting opportunity to expose our students and faculty to industry partners with versatile experiences, from those with startups to executives in charge of major international flagship companies. It is critical that the proposed programs attract highly qualified, domestic students from constituencies under-represented in engineering: women, minorities, and students with disabilities. The ASAP will recruit promising graduate students with an emphasis on broadening center diversity. Given below are the highlights of our key diversity efforts. Given below are the highlights of our key diversity efforts.


Establishing a Women in Microelectronics mentoring program for undergraduate and graduate students, to reimagine the future workforce in microelectronics, in partnership with the UIUC Women in Engineering (WIN) program. We propose to establish a mentor-mentee program to actively engage female graduate and undergraduate students one-on-one with industry mentors. We plan to form a mentoring team comprising highly accomplished women engineers from member companies. We will also partner with IEEE EDS and Photonics Society, as well as SEMI foundation’s mentoring program, to make this a truly effective program.

REU Program

The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program funds will be obtained through supplemental grant from the NSF IUCRC program to provide experiential learning for 2-4 undergraduate students, who will be selected each year from years 2-5 of the program. They will be selected through an application process, widely publicized to faculty around the US and industry members. These students will be placed in IUCRC faculty labs, where they will be supervised by graduate students, to expose them to novel research in advanced materials and semiconductors. Participating faculty (Li, Goddard, Ahmad) have previously managed nano@illinois REU and RET programs at the Holonyak Lab.


ARISE program is aimed at providing training to low-income students in IL and prepare them to succeed at the college level. Through regular interactions, laboratory visits, and small research projects, ASAP team will provide the necessary resources to ARISE students to excel in their coursework while also looking forward to research in the area of semiconductors. 

Community Outreach

Outreach plans for high school students include partnering with the Women in STEM club at the University Laboratory High School (UniHigh) and the Girls Learning Electrical Engineering (GLEE) summer camp, which attracts high school female students from across the world. ASAP will also have a booth at the annual 2-day Engineering Open House, which is organized entirely by  engineering students in Spring each year and highlights innovations at UIUC. It receives over 25,000 visitors including elementary, middle, and high school students from across the region. ASAP will also partner with Saturday Engineering for Everyone: This is an open and free lecture series launched in 2014 by Prof. Naresh Shanbhag (ASAP Leadership Team) and colleagues. It aims at educating non-engineers from different backgrounds who are interested in learning about engineering. This is a natural outreach opportunity for ASAP-EP center faculty, as well as industry member representatives. We plan to deliver lectures and host joint faculty-industry live panels on cutting-edge semiconductor technology.