Interview with Linda Woody: Dieter Bergman IPC Fellowship Award Recipient


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The Dieter Bergman IPC Fellowship Award was established in 2015, the year after Dieter passed away. Noted for his tireless efforts on committees and at promoting IPC and the electronics industry, Dieter was an inspiration to all who knew him—and a tough act to follow. IPC describes the award as follows:

The Dieter Bergman IPC Fellowship Award is given to individuals who have fostered a collaborative spirit, made significant contributions to standards development, and have consistently demonstrated a commitment to global standardization efforts and the electronics industry. Each recipient will be eligible to bestow the Dieter Bergman Memorial Scholarship upon the university or college of his/her choice.

This year there are two recipients: Steve Tisdale and Linda Woody, both semi-retired and consulting, but both still very active in IPC standards development. In talking with them I could feel the tireless energy and hear the commitment. Everywhere the conversations were sprinkled with committee talk and what still needs to be done. Here is my conversation with Linda.

Patty Goldman: Congratulations, Linda, on this most prestigious award. Please start by telling me about yourself and your work background.

Linda Woody: Thanks. I retired from Lockheed Martin after 36 years, and that was at the end of 2014. I’ve been retired for three years.

Goldman: Really retired or consulting retired?

Woody: Consulting retired, but pretty much what I’m doing is volunteer work for different organizations, specifically for PERM. I’m the former Chair of PERM, and I started chairing it in 2012 and I had two 2-year terms, so I did it through the end of 2015, and that was after I retired. I continue to be involved in PERM and to support the IPC with other documents.

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Goldman: First, tell me what PERM is.

Woody: PERM is a council in the IPC, and it stands for Pb-free Electronics Risk Management.

Goldman: How did you first get involved with IPC, and what prompted the involvement you just mentioned? My guess is you’ve been involved in much more than PERM over the years.

Woody: Well, during my first 10 years at Lockheed, I was in electro-optics research and development; I was kind of locked away in a lab. Then I was transferred to a manufacturing facility that supported the Orlando, Florida plant. I was transferred to Ocala. And that was a rude awakening because that was all manufacturing and all done to standards. It was a real eye-opener.

Then I started reading these standards and thinking, what? Why? So, once I had questions for the committee, that’s when I got involved. That was probably in the mid-90s. I immediately saw the need for getting involved. You know, tell me why I’m doing this or doing that.

Goldman: When you went to those committees, did you get your questions answered? I’m sure you got volunteered to work on something.

Woody: Oh sure. Because they want you to come with data. You can question all you want, but you’ve got to come with data and I’ve always been a real proponent of that. My comment is always “show me the data.” You can’t just put things in standards because you think they should be there. You’ve got to prove it. And in fact, Dieter was one of the first gentlemen that I worked with at IPC, they were starting up the ball grid array committee. Dieter was one of my first mentors and adversaries.

Goldman: Gee, imagine that.

Woody: Yeah, imagine that, but he was always a really good friend. I loved Dieter to death.

Goldman: What committees and sub-committees have you been involved in over the years?

Woody: Oh geez. I’d almost have to have the list in front of me. Of course, 001 and A610, those are the big ones. I was in electronics manufacturing. Then there are all the bare boards documents, but I usually had somebody else at Lockheed handling those. And I’ve been in the cleaning stuff since the very beginning because I was in charge of getting Lockheed out of the CFCs back in the ‘90s when we all had to get rid of our Freon. I was heavily involved in all that development work in the cleaning world and very involved in conformal coating, and I still am. I was also involved in all the solderability specs, like 002 and 003, the solder and flux specs, which I think are 005 and 006. So, pretty much everything that concerns assembly and materials.

Goldman: And the more you get involved, the more you learn, right?

Woody: Yes, and that’s the good part of it, because you’re getting to hear what everybody else is doing, what’s working and what isn’t. That’s one of the real benefits of going to the committee meetings. It’s nice to know that, “Oh you really did this? You really tried this? What happened? What kind of results did you get?”

Goldman: Or "I have this problem; how can you help me or do you have advice?" What contribution do you feel you’ve made over the years?

Woody: Oh, gosh. I don’t know. I’ve done a whole lot of testing and brought a whole lot of data to different committees. You know, one thing or another. There’s been so many of them. The most recent ones are the ones we’ve been doing with PERM, which is the conformal coating coverage and what we call lead poisoning for tin-lead soldering. And those are two big round robins that are just finishing up and getting ready to publish. That’s the most recent. But when I was in Ocala I had my own analytical lab, so I would take on a lot of tasks, or at least be part of a round robin task. So there’s been many, many of them.

Goldman: Have any documents been published that you were involved with?

Woody: Oh yes, there’s been a number, and I couldn’t list the numbers off the top of my head. The one we’re publishing right now is the design for lead-free, and that’s coming out of the PERM group. It is PERM-2901. It published in mid-February.

To read the full interview, which appeared in I-Connect007’s Show & Tell Magazine, click here.

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