When company travel budgets are stretched to the limit and engineering staffs wear multiple hats, companies often are reluctant to send even their best engineers for training that involves travel costs and time away from the office.

For two years, ECD, a manufacturer of thermal profiling equipment and software in Milwaukie, Ore., has made training cost-effective for those who want to further their technical education. The company has trained more than 1,000 engineers through ECD-University, its in-house online teaching facility. The classes do not require travel and demand only an hour of an engineer’s time.

“Our feedback tells us these classes are a real boon to the industry because of their accessibility and friendliness to a company’s bottom line,” says Grant Peterson, ECD’s vice president of marketing and sales. “Free of charge as an industry service, all classes are live and instructor-led, providing students the opportunity to not only ask questions right from their desks but also to provide input that could very well benefit the entire industry.”

Based on the philosophy that thermal profiling is a process, not a single act, and should be reflected in every stage of PCB or component assembly, the university teaches the fundamentals of thermal quality management as well as product and software principals and use.

According to Peterson, classes are more specific than those targeting a general audience, but “no matter what the experience level of the engineer, he or she can become even better versed” in the technology.

Multiple classes are offered each month, which allows those unable to attend a particular session to register for it at a later date. Most classes are offered independently although some may require previous introductory sessions.

For more information,visit www.ecd.com/ecdu.