Hitachi ties up with RP universities to develop computer hard disk manufacturing skills

GLOBAL CHIP manufacturing giant Hitachi Global Storage Technologies is donating $3 million to two local universities in a bid to develop computer hard disk drive manufacturing skills in the country.
In a press briefing, officials of the Japan-based firm said it is donating two laboratories each to the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman and the Ateneo de Manila University, to spur the study of robotics and metrology, in line with the company?s integrated university program.
Under the program, the company will also tie up with "key universities" to extend scholarship and research grants, and extensive on-the-job training programs.
"We [Hitachi] recognize the tremendous talent of these future potential scientists and engineers, which is why we are investing in developing and recruiting local talent through mutually beneficial collaboration," Dr. Pantelis Alexopolous in a statement yesterday said.
Schools tapped for the Hitachi program are UP, Ateneo, De La Salle University-Manila, Mapua Institute of Technology, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas.
John Herber, Hitachi senior technical staff manager, in an interview yesterday said "our goal is to hire these trainees."
Under the program, he said Hitachi will determine parts of its operations that require people. Once found, the company will tell the schools what kinds of students Hitachi needs, and the schools will recommend students who may fit the vacancies.
The specialized training program will last six weeks in the company?s Sta. Rosa, Laguna plant and at the end of the program, the company will decide whether to hire the trainee or not.
Hitachi?s roughly 5,000 employees in its Laguna plant, who are mostly engineers, manufacture magnetic sliders, which are devices less than a millimeter in width that are used to write data on computer hard drives.
Other than robotics and metrology, or the study of microscopy and measurement, the company also plans to train students in the field of three-dimensional (3-D) design?an essential part of the hardware design process.
Dr. Sergio Cao, UP chancellor, said "the equipment donation and other program developments will go a long way toward helping our faculty and students advance their talent, skills and knowledge" in the said fields. ? Paolo Luis G. Montecillo