Making a difference

Faced with a complex issue, Anya Kish rose to the challenge by turning it into a growth opportunity

3-minute read - February 14, 2024

This story is part of our 2023 Annual Report. Read the full report.

“ASML’s focus on technology and its supportive culture mean you can go wherever your talent and ambition take you.”


Anya Kish moved from Russia to the US for her graduate studies in plasma physics. That willingness to take opportunities however they present themselves has seen her build a career at ASML as a problem solver who thrives under pressure. She now works as project manager for the light source for our next extreme ultraviolet lithography system.

Finding a place to grow

I had wanted to work at ASML ever since I was a graduate student, and a course mate told me about the company. I read more online and watched all the YouTube videos I could find. I was blown away by the cutting-edge technology.


Soon after graduating, I was lucky enough to get a temporary contract and then a permanent position as an engineer in the Source Performance team in San Diego, working to improve the performance of EUV light sources. A fantastic manager suggested that I may have a talent for project management. I am someone who thrives on a fast pace, pressure and action, so I said why not?

A new journey

I started small, leading a team of one – me. But I loved the energy and was eager for more. The next opportunity came out of the blue. I was on a trip to Veldhoven when key customers reported an issue that was impacting the lifetime of mirrors used in our EUV light sources. This had become our number one customer issue and could have delayed the introduction of EUV lithography into mass production.


ASML’s senior management needed an update, and fast. As the subject matter expert was absent and I was onsite, I was asked to give a presentation the next day. I had no prior knowledge of the issue, but spent the night learning everything I could. I read all the materials and phoned round colleagues for more information. Everyone was happy to help. The presentation went so well that I was asked to head up a taskforce to address the issue. A year later, the project won awards from key customers and within ASML, and mirror lifetime had gone from the number one customer issue to something people hardly ever mentioned.

A culture of support

That unexpected opportunity was the first real step on my project management journey. And it highlights two of my favorite things about working at ASML: The technology and the culture. I couldn’t have given that presentation without the support of the colleagues who took my calls and answered my questions. The supportive culture is why I feel confident to take on new challenges here: there are always people around who want to help you and ASML succeed.


Friends from outside ASML sometimes ask me about working in technology as a woman or working in the US as a Russian. Those questions surprise me, as who I am has never been a factor in my experience and the opportunities I have had at ASML.


Yes, the industry has been male dominated, but it is changing. When I started eight years ago, I used to joke that I was given my own private bathroom as I was the only woman on my floor. But that certainly isn’t true anymore. And in my experience, ideas are always judged on their merit.


There are programs to support different groups within ASML. They do great things bringing people together and raising issues, but people here really don’t need much education.

Source of inspiration

I joined ASML because I was blown away by the technology as a student. And I still am. I recently moved on to a new stage in my journey here, managing the entire NXE:3800 source that will be introduced to customers in 2024. But even now, I sometimes go down to the lab just to look at a source protype with its thousands of components. That we can make that work seems almost like magic, even after eight years of working for ASML.

This story comes from our 2023 Annual Report which features people at ASML and the impact they are having on the company and society.


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