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Setting the Global Standards for Static Control!

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Arnold Steinman

steinman1The September spotlight is Arnie Steinman who says: “the contacts I have made during my 27 years of membership in the ESDA are among the most satisfying parts of my career in electronics."

Arnold (Arnie) Steinman holds both a B.S. (1965) and an M.S. (1966) in Electrical Engineering from the Polytechnic University of New York.

After receiving his degrees, Arnie accepted a position in the Nuclear Counting Group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, CA. There, he pursued his specialty in electronics design, implementing the newest electronics component, the “integrated circuit”. He designed numerous instruments for monitoring nuclear processes, many of which found their way into industry products. Several years later, his job moved closer to his home in Berkeley CA, where he still lives, when he joined the Biomedical Electronics Group of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

At LBNL, Arnie continued designing electronics for such diverse applications as high speed cell counting and analysis, and digitizing data from Computer Aided Tomography (CAT) scans. Later, he joined the electronics group at the Heavy Ion Linear Accelerator (HILAC), designing monitoring and control equipment to protect the high power modulators.

In 1971, Arnie and his wife of 2 years, Susan, departed on the first pursuit of their lifelong love of travel. Selling everything, they headed off to Europe for 18 months of wandering, returning with many fond memories and 7 months into the process of producing their first daughter, Jennifer. Intent on being a “stay-at-home” father, Arnie started his first consulting business, the Electronics Workshop, which specialized in electronics design in many different fields including consumer electronics, music applications, engine control systems for merchant ships, and office building environmental controls.

steinman2After 10 years as an independent electronics consultant, his last client, Ion Systems, asked him to design the first cleanroom compatible air ionizer. In 1983, Arnie accepted a position with Ion Systems as an electronics design engineer. In the more than 25 years that followed, he transitioned to Director of Engineering and then to Chief Technology Officer. During that time he was responsible for the designs of the company’s ionization and measurement products. He received four U.S. patents for basic ionization technology. Arnie says, “There were some very exciting times when industry changes produced rapid technology innovation. When the extremely ESD-sensitive MR head appeared, for almost two years we were continuously in prototype production to keep up with quick changes in ESD control requirements. Often, the ESDA was the forum where these requirements were discussed.”

Arnie left Ion Systems in 2009, returning to his first career in consulting. Now an electrostatics consultant, he works closely with Trek Inc., an electrostatics instrument supplier, and Dangelmayer Associates, a worldwide provider of ESD consulting services and training. “I really enjoy the diversity of opportunities that consulting provides to use my knowledge of electrostatics,” he says.

Aware of the importance of standards, Arnie joined the ESD Association in 1984. He was present that year at the first meeting of the Ionization Workgroup that ultimately produced the only worldwide Air Ionization standard, known as STM 3.1. He says, “There were about 25 people in the room and probably 35 proposals for ionizer measurements. After listening patiently, I finally put the Charged Plate Monitor on the table and offered it as the instrument capable of making the measurements that interested most users. We gave this technology to the ESDA.”

steinman3Arnie has continued to participate in ESDA activities. He has served as both chair and vice-chair of the Ionization Workgroup, and has continued to participate in other workgroups including Automated Handlers, Cleanrooms, and Process Assessment. He is a member of STDCOM, served as a member of the Board of Directors for 8 years, and headed the Human Resources business unit. He was a principal author of STM 3.1 Ionization, SP3.3 Periodic Verification of Air Ionization, TR 3.0 Selection and Acceptance of Air Ionization, SP10.1 Automated Handling Equipment, TR53 Electrostatic Guidelines for Cleanrooms, and several other ESDA technical reports.

In 1989 Arnie became a charter member of the Silicon Valley ESD Society (SiVa), now an ESDA local chapter. Over the years he made numerous presentations at chapter meetings and at the annual ESDiscovery tutorials. Partnering with the disk drive manufacturers association, IDEMA, he and other members traveled throughout Asia making ESD-related technical presentations. Arnie has made presentations or taught at Regional Tutorials for all of the local chapters of the ESDA.

In the standards field, Arnie’s participation was not limited to the ESDA. He worked on ESD control standards in the disk drive industry through IDEMA, producing 2 static control program documents. In 1995, he chaired a meeting of engineers concerned with static control issues in the semiconductor industry. Following the recommendations of that meeting, Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), the industry standards provider, formed the ESD Task Force. Arnie has served as the leader of this group since it was formed in 1996. The ESD Task Force is responsible for three semiconductor industry standards on ESD control, E43, E78, and E129. These standards specify measurement techniques and recommended limits for static charge in semiconductor production. Arnie says, “The work at SEMI has always complemented my work at the ESDA. Here we provide standards for static control methods, while at SEMI we look at the results of implementing those control methods.

Arnie has been attending the EOS/ESD Symposium annually since 1984. For almost 20 years, he has been teaching the Ionization Tutorial, now a part of the ESD Program Manager curriculum. He has taught other tutorials as well, including ESD Control in Cleanrooms and this year’s offering, Determining the Impact of Static Control Methods. In addition to attending the EOS/ESD Symposium he has authored and co-authored several Symposium papers on air ionization, electrostatic measurements, and ESD standards.

steinman4Arnie has contributed over 100 technical articles and presentations to industry publications and industry symposia. He has been published in Micro, Semiconductor International, Data Storage, Evaluation Engineering, Compliance Engineering and Cleanrooms magazines. He has made technical presentations at the IEST annual technical meeting, the International Committee of Contamination Control Sciences (ICCCS) meetings, SEMI technology forums, and for many other national and international industry groups.

"The contacts I have made during my 27 years of membership in the ESDA are among the most satisfying parts of my career in electronics. I have friendships that go all the way back to 1984, and one of the most important aspects of participation in Standards and Symposium is the opportunity to nurture those friendships. The other part is being able to participate in creating information that allows the electronics industry to progress beyond the limitations imposed by the need to overcome the effects of static charge. The ESD Association is the one place where we can all come together to achieve that purpose.”

Arnie and his wife Susan have now been married for over 42 years. They have two daughters, Jennifer and Megan. Arnie and Susan have continued to experience their love of travel. They have visited many countries and are esspecially fond of World Heritage sites in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Central and South America. Of course, they have also traveled extensively in the U.S., somehow surviving trips in Arnie’s convertible down roads nobody believed they should ever have traveled on.

Arnie enjoys cooking (he is the family chef), hiking in quiet places, and any sports that involve getting wet, like scuba diving, swimming, river rafting, and kayaking. “If I have to have one more career, I will probably be a beach bum”.