#GradStories Jonathan Cahill, Manufacturing Technician, Intel
Bachelor Mechanical Engineering, TU Dublin (Tallaght), 2017
The Intel Leixlip campus is home to a semiconductor wafer fabrication facility which produces 14nm process technology on 300mm wafers (a thin slice of semiconductor, such as a crystalline silicon, used for the fabrication of integrated circuits) – the latest generation silicon microprocessors that are at the heart of a variety of platforms and technology advancements which are essential to the way we learn, live and work today. Engineering roles at Intel range from managing mechanical systems and electrical distribution to monitoring water purity and waste management. Intel is the world's leading producer of semiconductor products with factories located around the globe. Intelligent fabs are key to Intel’s manufacturing leadership. In order to begin your career in Intel you need to have demonstrated excellent technical ability at third level and manufacturing technicians need a two-year or four-year technical degree. This can be in electronic engineering, manufacturing, computer, mechanical, semiconductor, equipment and control, or facilities technology, or technical military training and experience in avionics, electronics, or nuclear fields. However, Intel take on graduates from many disciplines from hardware and software engineers, to manufacturing and marketing disciplines, they look for people who never stop thinking about tomorrow.
What are the main tasks you do in your job in a normal week?
My job involves maintaining a toolset. So, there’s numerous toolsets throughout the factory and I’m in charge of maintaining the tools within my area. On a daily basis I’m basically in charge of carrying out maintenance which is just the day-to-day maintenance carried out to ensure the toolsets stays healthy and reliable. I’m in charge of troubleshooting any unforeseen issues that happens on the toolset.
What skills do you need to be successful in your role?
I work in a smaller area within Intel so we’re kind of like our own separate entity in Intel in fab 24. In my work area, known as etch, there's a team of five of us and we must obviously be able to clearly convey any occurrences to other shifts and also to our engineering colleagues if there is anything that needs their attention. So problemsolving, attention to detail and communication skills are three that I would use on a regular basis.
What do you love about your job?
It’s very interesting and it’s a challenging environment to work in. No day is the same and also there’s very a good work-life balance in Intel so although you do shift work and you work hard there is also good time off, so I do have plenty of time for my own interests and what I enjoy outside of work.
How did you get into your job?
I went to college in Tallaght and I studied mechanical engineering and I always was quite mechanically minded. I like working with my hands essentially. I had a few friends who worked in intel and there were speakers who would come to Tallaght IT and they talked to you about the job and I just thought it really sounded like a place where I’d fit in.
What skills should students develop if they are interested in this area?
I think communication is a real strong skill to have if you’re going to work in this area. If you’re doing any projects in college or you’re doing any presentations, work on that. Make sure you’re comfortable explaining yourself to people because when you’re working in a place like Intel there might be a situation where it’s very important that you can explain in a concise manner what the situation is and what the plan is and how you’re going to tackle it.