Wilde Lake High School student Phillip Sandborn won 1st place in the Engineering Division at the 2007 National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS). Phillip's research project "A Random Trimming Approach for Obtaining High-Precision Embedded Resistors," was mentored by mentored by Peter Sandborn, Associate Professor of mechanical engineering and member of the Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE). JSHS is the advanced research paper competition for high school science fair students.

The project focused on electronic resistor components fabricated inside of printed circuit boards. These "embedded" resistors are difficult to fabricate to required values and therefore have to be "trimmed" using lasers. Phillip's project developed and experimentally verified a computer simulation for the embedded resistor trimming process. The simulation was used to study embedded resistors containing randomly placed voids of varying size and a new trimming approach was proposed that allows higher precision embedded resistors to be obtained.

Phillip won the Maryland regional competition in April and competed at the national JSHS against the winners from 48 regional competitions in the United States, Puerto Rico, Europe, and the Pacific. The work was mentored by Dr. Peter Sandborn, a professor in Mechanical Engineering and member of the CALCE Electronic Products and Systems Center at the University of Maryland.

The JSHS competition is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense and the Academy of Applied Sciences.

A version of the paper has been accepted for publication in the technical journal: IEEE Transactions on Advanced Packaging. The IEEE paper is available here:

May 10, 2007

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