ASML is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chip-making equipment. Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML employs more than 21,000 people.
Equipment engineers are ASML's problem solvers. ASML delivers amazingly complex machines in a very short timeframe, often before the system is fully mature. When the system has been delivered, if there is a problem with it - something in the design, not things like a missing screw - it's our job to find out why and make sure it doesn't affect future systems.
Even the problem solving side is much more complex than you might think. When a field engineer reports an issue, we first have to decide if it's important. If it is, we have to define a business case: is it better to put the effort in to solve the problem now or just work around it each time. Then we identify the root cause of the issue, and present it to the development teams who look for possible solutions. Finally, we verify the proposed solutions and make sure they are implemented.
You can compare the whole process to a train ride, and I'm a cross between the conductor and the train driver. I have to keep the train moving forward according to the timetable while making sure it stops at all the right stations and that the right people get on board. I'm the only one who stays onboard for the whole journey.
I studied aerospace engineering at Delft University, and there are similarities between the aviation industry and working at ASML. Both involve complex systems with lots of sub-systems. But the semiconductor industry is much faster. If you have a good idea in aviation, it can take 20 years before you see a result.
My role at ASML is very technical. But it's also very people focused - which I really enjoy. At each "station" I have to talk to different people: field engineers to identify problems, supply chain engineers to find the cause, development engineers to define solutions. That makes the equipment engineer role - and the Industrial Engineering department in general - a great place to start at ASML. You get to see all the other links in the ASML chain.
Someone once told me that to have the best possible career, your job should follow E=mc2. To gain the most positive Energy from your work you need a job that suits your Mentality, your Character and your Competences.
For me, this job certainly fits that formula: it gives a lot of positive energy and to do it you need strong technical competency, the character to deal with so many different people and a mentality that lets you trust your own initiative. I remember the first problem I oversaw on my own: the first time I drove the train all the way from the start to the finish. The positive feeling when I reached the final station proved I had found my perfect job.
Page updated on 2013-2-4 13:20 CET