Life at ASM, according to Niamh

Around the world, more and more women are making their mark in the semiconductor industry. For a peek inside the world of ASM, we asked five quick-fire questions to Niamh, ASM’s first female field engineer in Ireland. From semiconductor tech to the value of teamwork, and from career advice to getting outdoors, Niamh shares her experience of life at ASM.

Tell us about your job at ASM 

I work as a Field Service Engineer for ASM in Ireland. At the moment, I am working to support one of our customers, where their computer chips are created layer by layer. Mostly, I work on the installation of new deposition equipment. The work is very hands-on, which has made learning about these tools easier. Once the tools have been installed and are up and running, my role will shift slightly. From that point onward, I will be maintaining the tools and ensuring they perform at their optimum level and to the customer’s specifications. I like the fact that ASM gives me a lot of opportunities to travel abroad to different sites to assist colleagues around the world. 

What has your experience at ASM been so far? 

As I took this job in September 2022, about six months ago, it was right after obtaining my degree in mechatronic engineering from Dublin City University, so I cannot really compare it to another work environment. But my experience so far has been great. Everyone at ASM really helped to ease the transition from student to working professional. They had all gone through it themselves as well, of course. In my experience, every day at ASM is different and presents new challenges. The team has been really welcoming and helpful, consistently giving me opportunities to learn and develop.  

What do you do in your daily work?  

Mechatronic engineering is an exciting field that brings together elements from both mechanical and electronic engineering. This gave me an all-round knowledge base that was the perfect springboard for starting my career as a Field Service Engineer at ASM. During my average day, I will go through the various stages of installing a new deposition tool in the fab. It’s a challenging and detailed activity, as each tool in the fab is a crucial part of the long, intricate process of creating new microchips. But the work is extremely rewarding as you can see the tool reaching different milestones throughout the installation. Working at ASM is always exciting; there’s a lot for the team to do and even more for me to learn. There are many experienced members within my team, and I enjoy the opportunity to work with them, and they are generous with their knowledge and experience.   

Any advice for someone starting out in the industry or at ASM?  

Whether you’re a fresh graduate like me or making a career step, my advice would just be to apply! There are exciting things going on in the semiconductor industry. And ASM is a very inviting and progressive employer that assists graduates in developing professionally. The semiconductor industry is very cutting-edge; you get the opportunity to work on new technologies that most consumers have never heard of. Even though I am generally the sole female in my role, I have been welcomed and supported by everyone at ASM. And to be honest, it feels good to be a bit of a trailblazer. So, my advice would be not to doubt yourself and just go for it.  

What do you like to do outside of work?  

I like that question because it’s so ASM. The people here are really interested in who you are – not just as a colleague, but as a person. Personally, I love playing sports and getting active. A few times each week after work I go to my local CrossFit club, which has been a great space for me to combine having a chat with a few friends and getting some exercise in. I also really enjoy the outdoors and try to get outside during my weekends, whether that’s going for a hike or driving to the nearest river to go for a paddle. The natural beauty of Ireland is just spectacular. 

ASM looks forward to welcoming many more talented young women like Niamh into our company. We even have a dedicated employee resource group, our Women’s Initiative Network (WIN), to enrich their connections with other women and allies at ASM, and to help set them up for success.