Company Founded by ERC Alumna Wins Highly Competitive Federal Grants

Achievement date: 

SandBox Semiconductor, an Austin, Texas-based company founded by an alumna of the University of Texas at Austin’s Nanomanufacturing Systems Center (NASCENT), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC), secured two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. The federal grants will enable development of next-generation manufacturing technologies for semiconductor devices.


The highly competitive SBIR awards from the NSF and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology encourage U.S. small businesses to engage in research and development (R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. The awards will further SandBox Semiconductor’s work on innovative software solutions for the manufacturing industry.


SandBox Semiconductor was founded in 2016 by NASCENT alumna Meghali Chopra and University of Texas at Austin Professor Roger Bonnecaze. The company’s mission is to accelerate advanced manufacturing process development through the application of physics-based and artificial intelligence/machine learning-based models. Their work helps process engineers working towards creating the next generation of semiconductor, petrochemical, and biopharmaceutical applications. SandBox Semiconductor has eight employees, who have collaborated on more than 10 patents and publications and presented at numerous domestic and international conferences.