Meet Zach

Meet Zach

PCB Design Expert &
Electronics Design Consultant

Zachariah Peterson is a well-known researcher and electronics designer. In 2017, he founded Northwest Engineering Solutions as a technology consultancy and has since grown the company into an innovative design and manufacturing house for advanced electronic products.

He conducted his Applied Physics Ph.D. research in ZnO random laser theory and stability and his M.Sc. Physics research in chemisorptive sensors for environmental monitoring at Portland State University. He also received his MBA (Leadership & Finance) from Adams State University. His research work post-academia includes topics in laser theory, electronics and optoelectronics, finance, and evolutionary computing.

Currently, Zachariah works with the biggest brands in PCB design software and simulation, as well as innovative PCB manufacturers, bringing technological insights and foresight to their product development and digital marketing strategies. His goal is to help his clients remain competitive and show technical leadership in a quickly evolving technological landscape.

Professional Highlights

  • Over 10 years of experience as an applied scientist and researcher
  • R&D experience includes electronics design, PCB layout, testing, simulation, and PCB manufacturing
  • 5 years of university teaching experience, currently developing curricula for industry
  • Published multiple peer-reviewed research articles and conference papers
  • Authored 1000+ technical articles for ECAD/EDA software vendors and PCB manufacturing companies
  • Co-inventor on four utility patents
  • Reviewed and edited hundreds of papers in optics, materials science, machine learning/AI, electronics, and other topics
  • Honorable mention in the leading column of Recent Advances in Statistical Optics and Plasmonics (Special Issue in Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417), MDPI, 2019)
  • IEEE Photonics Society Member, IEEE Electronics Packaging Society Member, American Physical Society Member
  • Winner of 2 Sigma Xi awards for outstanding research in optics
  • Former voting member of INCITS Quantum Computing Technical Advisory Committee
  • Printed Circuit Engineering Association (PCEA) Chairman, Portland Chapter
  • Member of the IEEE P3196 Working Group, Standard for Port Interface Representing Photonic Signals Using SPICE-class Circuit Simulators

Publications and Conference Talks

Zach is a regular contributor to EDA vendor blogs, industry publications, scholarly journals, and conference proceedings, delivering technical talks, paper presentations, courses, and tutorials on topics in electronics and PCB design.

Current topics for conferences and publications have focused on:

  • Wideband signal integrity beyond 28 GHz
  • Interconnect design and characterization
  • Electromagnetics in random and pseudorandom systems
  • Unique RF emitters

Read the Publications page to see a list of past papers and ebooks, or view the Presentations page to see recorded conference talks. Past talks and papers focus on topics ranging from advanced PCB design to photonics.

PCB Design Courses and Videos

In partnership with Altium, Zach and his production team create instructional content for Altium’s PCB design blog and for his own PCB design courses. We began creating video content in 2021 with the goal of educating designers on important topics in PCB design, analysis, layout, manufacturing, simulation, and much more at all experience levels. We have developed a small library focusing on several topical areas:

  • PCB layout
  • RF PCB design
  • Simulation and analysis
  • Selected topics in PCB manufacturing

All videos produced for the Altium Academy YouTube channel can be viewed on the Videos page.

Host of the Altium OnTrack Podcast

In 2021, Zach began hosting the Altium OnTrack Podcast after Judy Warner, its founding host, left Altium. Following in Judy’s footsteps, Zach now hosts the OnTrack podcast and discusses current events with PCB industry leaders, educators, and electronics desgin experts.

Popular topics on the podcast range from PCB design education to supply chain resiliance, advanced packaging, and electronics manufacturing. In addition to featuring a diverse range of guests, the OnTrack podcast promotes awareness of critical issues in the electronics industry. Frequent guests include PCB design experts and executives from industry advocacy groups.

Featured In:

EMC Live
PCB West
Signal Integrity Journal
Signal Integrity Journal

Work with an electronics industry leader

Book Zachariah Peterson for your next course, technical webinar, conference, or speaking engagement.