Sneak Peek and Meet the Keynotes for AltiumLive 2018: ANNUAL PCB DESIGN SUMMIT

Judy Warner
|  Created: August 15, 2018  |  Updated: December 11, 2020

First, on behalf of Altium, allow me to personally invite you to join us for the 2nd annual AltiumLive PCB Design Summit! As most of you know, Altium launched our first ever User Conferences last year in San Diego and Munich which were met with high praise from attendees, sponsors, the industry and the media. This October, in true Altium fashion, we are “upping our game.” In this issue of OnTrack, we will give you a sneak peek of the agenda and allow our keynotes tell you about the topics they will cover. We hope you will join us!

Where: Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, CA

Dates: October 3-5, 2018

Loews Coronado Bay Resort

Agenda: October 3, University Day and High-Speed Day (Optional)

  • 12 tracks offered throughout the day on Altium Designer®, led by Altium’s professional training team.
  • Parallel full-day course on high-speed design by Lee Ritchey.*

*Space is limited to 160 attendees. So register early!

  • Cocktail Reception: “Happy Hour with Happy Holden” and AltiumLive kick-off (Open to attendees of all three days)Happy will be signing digital copies of his book: The HDI Handbook (one per attendee) and limited copies of The PCB Handbook.

October 4: Day One Main Session

  • 2 Keynote Speakers: Eric Bogatin and Jeremy Blum
  • 3 Professional Development design courses
  • Reveal of Altium 19
  • 6 Breakout sessions (users and supply chain experts)
  • All meals included
  • Cocktail hour, dinner, and robot competition

October 5: Day Two Main Session

  • 2 Keynote Speakers: Rick Hartley and Bil Herd
  • 2 Professional Development design courses
  • 6 Breakout sessions (users and supply chain experts)
  • All meals included
  • Closing session and raffles

Meet the AltiumLive 2018 San Diego Keynotes

Dr. Eric Bogatin

Signal Integrity Evangelist, Teledyne LeCroy

Eric Bogatin is currently the Dean of the Teledyne LeCroy Signal Integrity Academy, at Additionally, he is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado - Boulder in the ECEE department. Bogatin received his BS in physics from MIT and MS and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has held senior engineering and management positions at Bell Labs, Raychem, Sun Microsystems, Ansoft and Interconnect Devices. He has written six technical books in the field and presented classes and lectures on signal integrity worldwide. In 2011 his company, Bogatin Enterprises, which he founded with his wife Susan in 1990, was acquired by Teledyne LeCroy. After concluding his live public classes in 2013, he devoted his efforts to creating the Signal Integrity Academy, a web portal to provide all of his classes and training content online for individuals and for companies.

Topic: Teaching the Value of the White Space: Experiences Creating a 1-Semester Upper Division PCB Design Class at University of Colorado, Boulder

In this presentation, Eric will share his thoughts on some of the most important design principles he teaches his students about circuit board design. He encourages everyone at the conference to reflect on the time they first discovered electronics design and the challenges they faced. He asks designers, knowing what they know now, to consider one or two of the most important principles they wish they had learned in school about printed circuit board design that would have made their lives so much easier. Eric looks forward to hearing these insights at the summit.

A Word from Dr. Bogatin:

“I teach an undergraduate/graduate PCB design course at CU, Boulder. One reason I enjoy teaching these students is that I get to warp young minds the way I think they should be affected.”

Jeremy Blum

Director of Hardware, Shaper Tools

Jeremy Blum is the Director of Hardware at Shaper Tools, where he is using computer vision to reinvent the way people use handheld power tools. Prior to joining Shaper, Jeremy was a lead electrical architect/engineer for confidential projects at Google [x]. He holds several patents and was named in Forbes’ 2017 30-Under-30 list.

Jeremy has designed and built prosthetic hands, structure-climbing robots, 3D printers, and home automation systems. Jeremy’s book (Exploring Arduino), blog, and videos have been utilized by millions of people worldwide to learn electrical engineering and embedded software design. When he's bored, Jeremy tends to connect "stuff" to the internet. A few of his recent victims that have been connected include hats, umbrellas, window shades, and trees. Jeremy maintains an active account of his various projects on his website:

Topic: Engineer to Architect: How to Leverage System-Level Design Thinking

As products become more sophisticated, it’s no longer realistic to just be an electrical engineer or layout artist. Modern electrical engineers must learn to employ design thinking practices to effectively interface with mechanical engineers, industrial designers, software engineers, and product managers, if they wish to build successful products that are simultaneously functional, manufacturable, and beautiful. Jeremy, an electrical engineer, and system architect, will explain how he employs design thinking principles to architect products from the system level without losing sight of the nitty-gritty technical details.

A Word from Jeremy:

“As products become more sophisticated, it’s no longer realistic to just be an electrical engineer. At AltiumLive, I'm looking forward to discussing the ways in which modern electrical engineers must navigate outside their technical comfort zone to build successful products that are simultaneously functional, manufacturable, and beautiful. I also look forward to learning new things from all of you.”

Rick Hartley

RH Enterprises, Retired Principal Engineer L-3 Missile Systems, Signal Integrity/EMI Expert, Teacher

Rick Hartley, recently retired senior principal engineer at L-3 Avionics Systems, is the principal of RHartley Enterprises, through which he consults and teaches internationally. Rick’s focus is on correct design of circuits and PC boards to prevent and/or resolve EMI, noise and signal integrity problems. He has consulted with major corporations in the US and 12 other countries. His career has focused on computers, telecommunications and aircraft avionics, as well as the automotive and appliance space. Rick has taught seminars at numerous conferences, including the IEEE EMC Symposium, PCB West, IPC Apex/Expo and others. He is a past member of the Editorial Review Board of Printed Circuit Design Magazine and has written numerous technical papers and articles on methods to control noise, EMI and signal integrity.

Click on the image to hear about Rick’s upcoming talk at AltiumLive on the OnTrack Podcast

Topic: The Extreme Importance of PC Board Stack-Up

PC Board Designers and Engineers who truly understand EMI and other forms of interference, know that these are physical events, meaning they happen because something in the PC board layout has been compromised or is downright incorrect.

Of all the things we control in the design, that which matters most is PCB stack-up. Yes, placement, routing and other features are critical, but if the board stack is compromised, all other features, by definition, are compromised.  A proper board stack must lead the way.

In this keynote, we will discuss why those statements are true, as well as how to craft an ideal board stack-up, be it 2 layers, 4 layers, 6 layers or 60 layers. We will also discuss why some of the most commonly used 4 and 6 layer board stack-ups are a disastrously bad idea and why they cause interference. More importantly, how to fix them!

A Word from Rick Hartley:

"When it comes to stack-ups, there are a few disastrously bad ideas that inevitably result in interference issues. In my keynote, I will discuss why this is true, and best of all how to fix these problems — whether you are designing a 4-layer board or a 60-layer board. I also look forward to meeting with all of you, my fellow designers, and having the rare opportunity to focus exclusively on the complexities of PCB design and learning from one another in beautiful San Diego!"

Bil Herd


Bil Herd is a computer engineer who created several designs for 8-bit home computers while working for Commodore Business Machines in the early to mid-1980s. After first acting as the principal engineer on the Commodore Plus/4, C16/116, C264, and C364 machines, Herd designed the significantly more successful Commodore 128, a dual-CPU, triple-OS and compatible successor to the Commodore 64. Prior to the C128, Herd had developed the initial architecture of the Commodore LCD computer, which was not released.

Click on the image to hear about Bil's experience at Commodore on the OnTrack Podcast

After leaving Commodore, Herd continued to design faster and more powerful computers with emphasis on machine vision and is a co-author on a patent involving n-dimensional pattern matching. Herd also designed an ultrasonic backup sensor for vehicles while working for Indian Valley Mfg. in 1986, a feature found in many modern vehicles today.

Herd has since then undertaken an entrepreneurial role and is the owner of several small companies. As for recent low-level computer hacking, he contributed a snippet of sprite logic code to the C64 DTV product designed by Jeri Ellsworth.

Bil Herd currently produces videos for Hackaday and appeared in and narrated the documentary "Growing the 8-Bit Generation" (a.k.a. "The Commodore Wars") about the early days of Commodore and the home computers explosion. Subsequently he narrated the documentary "Easy to Learn, Hard to Master: The Fate of Atari", thus becoming the official voice of the "8-bit Generation" documentary series.

Topic: Fireside Chat with Bil Herd — The Commodore Experience: Engineering the Early Generations of Home Computers

This will be a conversation with Bil to discuss his experience in helping to launch Commodore products and the birth and development of home computers. He will also discuss his Hackaday vlog and where he is today. We will also open up the conversation to the audience so you can ask your questions.

A Word from Bil:

“Having started in the days of hand tape and hand drawn schematics, I can say with a fair degree of certainty that the laws of physics haven’t changed. We remain bound by those very laws, even though we can lay tracks faster and let a tool double-check our impedance calculations for us. With luck we have gone from hoping a board will fire up it’s first time, to believing it will (though I still usually get at least one footprint wrong each time!) I look forward to reminiscing about the days before tools kept you from making stupid mistakes, which forced us to invent really clever mistakes instead, and I also look forward to hearing from the expert speakers on how I can do what I do, better.”

I hope this sneak peek into what we are planning will inspire you to join us. Act now to register for AltiumLive and secure you spot at the only purely PCB design focused event of the year. We have many more great things in store for you — and you won’t want to miss it! We are looking forward to learning, connecting and getting inspired together in sunny San Diego!

About Author

About Author

Judy Warner has held a unique variety of roles in the electronics industry for over 25 years. She has a background in PCB Manufacturing, RF and Microwave PCBs and Contract Manufacturing, focusing on Mil/Aero applications. 

She has also been a writer, blogger, and journalist for several industry publications such as Microwave Journal, PCB007 Magazine, PCB Design007, PCD&F, and IEEE Microwave Magazine, and an active board member for PCEA (Printed Circuit Engineering Association). In 2017, Warner joined Altium as the Director of Community Engagement. In addition to hosting the OnTrack Podcast and creating the OnTrack Newsletter, she launched Altium's annual user conference, AltiumLive. Warner's passion is to provide resources, support, and advocate for PCB Design Engineers worldwide.

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