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Rebecca Tighe, Process Engineer
Computers & ICT

Rebecca Tighe, Process Engineer

Rubecca graduated from TCD with a degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. She applied to Intel after leaving college through their online jobs applications system, and successfully secured a job as a Process Engineer. Now she works in the hi-tech clean rooms producing the computer chips used everyday across the globe.

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What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?

Choosing to do engineering in college was the first major milestone. From there my course divided into different sections and the decision became more about personal preference and ability rather than subject aptitude. The decision to do engineering in school was majorly based on my strengths in science and maths.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

Career guidance, and Lecturers in Mech Engineering. My Dad always made me build things because he has no sons. I definitely think that developed the design and logic side of my thinking.

How did you go about getting your current job?

I applied to Intel after leaving college through their online jobs applications. I applied to an unspecified Process Engineer position and was called for an interview for the planar department a few months later.

Describe a typical day?

No day is ever the same in Intel as the challenges we face are constantly changing. Essentially my day-to-day role is to sustain a manufacturing process which allows equipment to operate in a safe and effective manner, while producing top of class, defect free products.

A typical day begins with arriving on site in Leixlip at 6:30am and heading into the cleanroom for shift passdown. Production in Intel is carried out in a super clean environment, which means that employees have to wear what we call bunny suits in order to maintain a certain level of cleanliness, which is 10,000 times cleaner than an operating theatre. Passdown involves both engineers and technicians and is where any issues and progress over the last 12 hours is discussed.

It is the role of the engineer to lead this passdown and ensure that tool operations and plans can continue as they had for the previous 12 hours. This is vital to maintain the status of excellence which is required to allow 24 by 7 manufacturing succeed in Intel.

At 8:30 am there is a second passdown meeting again led by the shift engineer. This meeting involves tool owners, Equipment engineers, team leaders and other people who are vital in running a manufacturing process. Here the tool plans for any maintenance or experiments and the goals for the day are decided amongst the team. It is the shift engineer’s role to decide on the priority of these tasks and communicate them to the team of technicians who operate the machines.

Throughout the day the engineer takes responsibility for ensuring these plans are completed and communicating the advancement of plans to team leaders and tool owners.

Another major part of everyday operations is monitoring and maintain a low defect performance. This involves monitoring inline defect data to ensure tools are consistently producing the best standard products.

Training is also a huge part of my day in Intel. As a new hire in the company I typically have classes to attend, Web based training to complete and spend time with experienced engineers in order to develop my skill set for the job.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

Regular monitoring of tool and process performance. Communicating plans and goals with other team members so that everyone play a part in achieving them and can share in the success of the team. Data extraction and analysis, which allows for process and equipment improvements.

What are the main challenges?

Troubleshooting excursions in order to understand them and prevent them in the future is challenging. Training into a new environment is always a challenge. Adapting from a college environment to a working environment is a huge change and a challenge I am still overcoming.

What's cool?

Intel provide you with a very clear career development path and do their best to ensure that every employee is constantly improving. We also have a very relaxed atmosphere helped greatly by the casual dress code. It makes a 12 hour day a lot more comfortable!

What's not so cool?

Getting up at 5:30 am to come to work. Iíve never been a good morning person.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

The ability to communicate with and work as part of a team. Problem solving and a data analysis. The ability to set goals and then meet those goals.

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

Physics, Biology, Higher level maths. I think physics and maths played a huge role in influencing my career decisions. Physics allowed me to develop an interest in understanding how things work and what the practical limitations on designs are. While maths allowed me to develop the logical thinking and problem solving skills which are essential to engineers in their every day jobs.

What is your education to date?

I have a bachelorís degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and a bachelorís of Arts in Maths. I started in Intel a few months after I graduated from Trinity College Dublin.

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

Maths was a huge part of my course and it helped me gain a set of problem solving skills which I utilise every day on the job. My thesis taught me a lot about data manipulation and extraction which is a skill used every day in work.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

Being recognised in work for special contributions that are not in the everyday line of your job is something that is new to me and something that I find quite encouraging and motivating.

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

The ability to work as part of a team and communicate well with others is one of the skills I utilise most in the working environment. I honed these skills over my years in school playing sports for multiple clubs and participating in many school societies. I was also elected head girl in my final year of secondary school. This greatly improved my team management skills as I was the team leader for our team of prefects and also represented the school at many events.

What is your dream job?

To be one of the presenters on top gear.

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

Working on shift allows me to lead a very flexible lifestyle which would not be possible with a 9 Ė 5 job. Typically I work a 3 or 4 day week, with each day comprising of 12 hour shifts. This means there is a lot of time off during the week to have a life outside of Intel.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Engineering in general is an extremely broad career and can lead to you many different applications and many different parts of the world. Itís also a career which can give you a set of skills highly adaptable to other careers. In Intel the same applies. Day to day the job changes so being able to change with the job is important. Make sure you are adaptable and can apply your skills in many different situations.

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

The ability to work as part of a team is huge in Intel. Having the skills to communicate efficiently and lead a team are vital traits for the job and are implemented almost every day. A developed set of problem solving skills and ability to design simple, effective solutions to everyday problems is something that youíll use in any engineering job whether in Intel or not. Being self-motivated and driven is also vital to advancing in Intel as an engineer. Itís up to you to get your work done and meet deadlines, which is a nice change from college where you have people.

What is your favourite music?


What is your favourite film?

I am Sam or Manhattan

What is your pet hate at work?

Not being able to find a parking space.

What is your star sign?


Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?

At the moment Iím still training into a new career in Intel, so currently I am busy getting up to standard with the in s and outs of running the process. I hope to advance on to do my masters and PhD in future years and know that Intel will help me to do this.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

If as an engineering graduate you have no experience in an eng company, itís not something to worry about. I had never worked in a company before Intel. Most engineering companies are looking for a skill set that they require and will then train you into the specific role that they envision for you. Itís important to show what skills your course has taught you.

What is your current job title?

Process Engineer

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