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.
The best thing about working at ASML for me is that I work with a group of people who are all determined to make things happen. That may sound a bit strange, because in any job "things happen", but what I mean is that everyone here is totally focused on achieving the same goal - and that is to make an extremely complex machine work faultlessly. As a technologist I naturally want to know how these complex systems work and how the various parts and subsystems interact. I therefore love diving into all the details of the sensors and actuators to investigate how they all perform - this is necessary to get an optimized design. Then, as soon as you have made something ‘happen' in your subsystem, it's time to move on, and make something else ‘happen'. And this too has its benefits.
For one thing you are always facing new challenges, interacting with new people, and learning new skills. That's another main advantage of working at ASML - the sheer numbers and diversity of specialists who you can learn from. Believe it or not, they're all eager to help you. But you need to know where to look and who to ask, we don't really have a formal system where problems are necessarily reported to line managers, who then appoint people and resources to address those problems. No, at ASML it's more of a self-starting problem-solving culture. Individuals and teams get things done by seeking out relevant specialists and knocking on their doors - or by sitting next to them in the canteen, for example. This also means that you can be contacted too by colleagues to help them.
For example, last year, during the development of a new subsystem, we had regular team meetings with members from another subsystem in order to improve complete system behavior. We all got to know each other quite well, and when the mission had been accomplished we all went back to our ‘usual' jobs. Then, nine months later, one of the guys on the other team contacted me to help with a feasibility study for similar cross-project deliverables, which of course I made time for.
Another reason why there is so much diversity in the type of work you do at ASML is that things change so quickly - a small fault could be identified and within hours it has escalated into something much more wide-ranging. That's when a taskforce of different technology disciplines is assembled, to approach the problem from different angles.
Of course we have plans, with detailed schedules and deadlines, but because things change so rapidly, those plans are regularly binned and new plans are drawn up. So you could say that at ASML plans are nothing (because circumstances and priorities change so quickly) but planning is everything (because that's how to answer the immediate challenges).
Page updated on 2012-12-4 9:40 CET