The University of Texas at Dallas announced Jan. 20 that it opened a new research center to advance semiconductor technology for extreme situations, according to a press release.

The research center, titled the Center for Harsh Environment Semiconductors and Systems, is designed to produce materials and devices that can withstand extreme temperatures, radiation and extreme mechanical conditions, according to Manuel Quevedo-Lopez, the director of the center. These electronics are designed to be launched into space or used in military operations, including devices which travel beyond Mach 5, or five times faster than the speed of sound.

“Harsh-environment electronics research has become key in industry and national security, and the demand for expertise in this area is growing,” Quevedo-Lopez said in a statement. “[The center] brings together experts who can advance the technology and solve challenges in this highly specialized area.”

The center is the first initiative of UT Dallas’ North Texas Semiconductor Institute, which aims to accelerate semiconductor innovation, entrepreneurship and workforce development in North Texas, according to university officials. Institute officials estimate new manufacturing facilities across the region, including a new plant in Richardson, will create over 17,000 semiconductor manufacturing, technology development and management jobs over the next few years.

“Through the North Texas Semiconductor Institute, the university will play a key role in regional efforts to strengthen U.S. semiconductor manufacturing capability,” said Joseph Pancrazio, vice president for research and innovation at UT Dallas, in a statement.

The effort to develop the institute began more than a year ago to address the need for semiconductor research in North Texas and to help alleviate the shortage of skilled employees for the growing semiconductor industry in the region, Quevedo-Lopez said in a statement.