IWCS Professional Development Program

Every year, a variety of strong Professional Development Courses are offered, providing a great learning opportunity from renowned industry experts. These Professional Development / Training courses constitute an industry-recognized certification program, which includes Core and Elective Courses.

Core Courses

The annual core courses are Copper 101, Fiber 101, Materials 101 and Extrusion 101. The four Core courses will provide those new to our cable & connectivity industry with basic technology information. Participants have the opportunity to achieve a certificate of recognition for completing each of the core courses.

Elective Courses

Varying each year, additional Elective courses are selected from a series of emerging technologies and practices. The four Elective courses deliver current, leading edge topics geared at providing information on new areas of interest to engineers, scientists and other cable & connectivity professionals. In the IWCS 2020 Virtual Symposium, just Core courses are offered. Electives will return in live-event years.

Professional Development Certificates and Achievement Plaques

Attendance certificates are given to students attending any of the courses. Over time, students completing the 4 Core courses, along with two Electives, will be presented with an IWCS Professional Development achievement plaque.




This year IWCS will present the annual core courses of Copper 101, Fiber 101, Materials 101 and Extrusion 101 through our live, virtual platform. Participants receive real-time education from our experienced instructors in our video classrooms, allowing participants and instructors to engage in conversation, ask Q&A and download files on demand from the comfort of your own office. The four core courses will provide those new to our cable & connectivity industry with basic technology information. Over time, students completing the four core courses, along with two electives offered during live-event years, will be presented with an IWCS Professional Development achievement plaque. Each Professional Development Course will be split into two parts held on October 15 & 16, 2020. Participants must complete both parts to receive credit and a certificate for the course. The course descriptions are provided below. The schedule is as follows:

Thursday, October 15, 2020
8:00 AM — 10:00 AM Eastern USA Copper 101 - Part 1 Fiber 101 - Part 1
10:10 AM — 12:10 AM Eastern USA Materials 101 - Part 1 Extrusion 101 - Part 1
Friday, October 16, 2020
8:00 AM — 10:00 AM Eastern USA Copper 101 - Part 2 Fiber 101 - Part 2
10:10 AM — 12:10 AM Eastern USA Materials 101 - Part 2 Extrusion 101 - Part 2





Introduction to the design and application of copper conductor communications cables.

Trent Hayes, Engineering Director, CommScope Incorporated, Claremont, NC, USA
Larry Bleich, Engineering Director, CommScope Incorporated, Catawba, NC, USA

An introduction to the design and application of copper conductor communications cables. Students will understand how coaxial, twisted pair and twin axial cables are designed and how they operate upon completing the class. The instructors will provide background material on the history of copper cabling followed by sections on applications, design and construction of cables. Current standards and design examples are also reviewed by the instructors. Materials that are typically used in copper conductor communication cables will be incorporated at a fairly high level into the design exercises.


Provides a basic analysis tool for identifying potential machinery bottlenecks due to the extrusion group, so as to solve issues which are hampering productivity and quality.

Dr. Stéphan Puissant, Process Manager, Nexans Research Center, Switzerland
Mick Hundley, PE, LyondellBasell, Cincinnati, OH, USA
Dr. Steven W. Horwatt, Product and Application Development Scientist, Equistar Chemicals, LP a LyondellBasell company, Cincinnati, OH USA

The complete extrusion process is complex and involves a lot of machines having each a different function. The heart of the process being extrusion, we focus in this course on the extrusion group, i.e. extruder and cross head (distributor and tooling).

The single screw extruder seems to be a very simple machine. However, the extrusion process is complex as it is governed by interacting laws from different mechanical engineering fields i.e., thermodynamics, flow mechanics, properties of solid and molten polymers etc. Therefore, in a first step, the physical characteristics (viscosity, conductivity, melting) of polymers used in extrusion are presented. These properties will be the keys to understand the functioning of the thermoplastics extrusion process.

The material basis being covered, the focus will shift on the functioning of the single screw extruder. There the 3 functional zones of the extruder are introduced. For each zone, we will see its functioning in relation to material properties. This mechanism having been described, we will obtain some hints of the optimal screw designs (for some broader plastic families!), so as solutions which may be used to solve problematic issues.

After being plastified (molten), the polymer will be formed in its final shape by some extrusion head. In this part of the course, the basics of distributor design according to the materials are presented. After discussing the effects of distributor geometries, we will also compare different tool designs. And the influence of temperature settings on concentricity, adhesion and surface quality will be shown.

For each of the different items (extruder, X-head, even cooling) evoked in the course, we will try to give some practical hints in relation with a more theoretical approach.


Overview of optical fiber fundamentals and optical cable design principles to those new to the fiber optic cables.

David A. Seddon, Senior Engineering Associate, Cable Technology, Corning Optical Communications, Hickory, NC, USA

This course will explore several aspects of optical fiber and cable design technology with particular focus on products for communications. It will discuss application considerations to select a product appropriate for a given installation environment and the basic considerations necessary for successful design of optical fiber cables.

The first part of this course will outline the characteristics and fundamental operating principles of optical fibers and the key differences between Single-Mode and Multimode optical fibers. Included will be critical fiber parameters and their impact on system performance. Specific topics will include the Advantages of Optical Fiber, Optical Fiber Manufacturing, Total Internal Reflection, Attenuation, Dispersion, Polarization Mode Dispersion (PMD), Cutoff Wavelength and other optical parameters critical to optical communications.

The second part of this course will explore the functional requirements of optical fiber cables and some of the fundamental design equations which can be used to ensure a cable will meet a given installation or operational requirement. The course will also discuss selection of a product appropriate for a given installation environment. Structural differences between cables for indoor, outdoor, and specialty applications will be explored including stranded loose tube cables, central and stranded tube ribbon cables, tight buffered cables and optical power ground wire cables.


The course is intended for all wire and cable practitioners including raw material suppliers, cable manufacturers, and end users interested in gaining a broad understanding of applied material selection as it relates to cable performance.

Dr. Scott Wasserman, Associate R&D Director/ICM, Dow, Collegeville, PA, USA
Dr. Mohamed Esseghir, Principal Research Scientist, Dow, Collegeville, PA, USA
Dr. Paul Brigandi, Application Development Leader, Dow, Collegeville, PA, USA

In this course, the selection and implementation of polymer materials used in the construction of wires and cables will be reviewed. The course will focus on polymer materials utilized in telecommunication cable applications with focus on twisted pair, coaxial, and fiber optic cables. An overview of the materials science essential to the polymer properties and additives employed in cable compounds will be covered to level- set all attendees. Further, the fundamental characteristics (advantages and disadvantages) of materials will be presented which can be then considered in selecting a material for use in a finished cable construction, with specific sections covering jackets, insulations and fiber optic materials. In addition, the effect of additives on material performance will also be discussed, particularly those that impart ultraviolet resistant and flame retardant properties on the materials. For each of the different items (extruder, X-head, even cooling) evoked in the course, we will try to give some practical hints in relation with a more theoretical approach.

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