Abstract: While graduate school traditionally prepares a student for a life of cutting-edge research, the skills that one learns there coincidentally are applicable to industry positions. Intel is a company that happily accepts graduate students from various disciplines, including physics. Specifically, the factory portion of Intel values those with experience in equipment improvement and troubleshooting because they can help to improve the end product – the chip. These chips appear in many parts of our lives: computers, cars, phones, servers, and many more. The ecosystem of engineers in the factory includes those who work directly on equipment; these are the process engineers. In addition to working on the equipment themselves, other non-obvious ways that process engineers improve the process is by working with technicians to make equipment maintenance and operations more efficient to keep up with the influx of customer demands. This talk will discuss reasons for joining the industry, the skills that I developed during my time at UIUC, and the current day-to-day working at Intel as a Process Engineer, including examples of what engineering work looks like. The work involved at Intel can be periodically intense and fast-paced, but rewarding for those who seek the satisfaction of making a reliable, manufacturable product.
Bio: Dr. Jeff Damasco attended UCLA and obtained a B.S. in Physics in 2011. Afterwards, he worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory on Computational Physics, focusing on inertial confinement fusion. He then moved to UIUC and graduated with a Ph.D. in Physics in 2019 and worked on the III-V semiconductor InSb for use in topological quantum computing; his work demonstrated how one could use a superconductor to probe the density of states in InSb nanowires while maintaining ballistic conduction within the quantum point contacts of the nanowire. His passion for automation, efficiency, and reproducible results led him to work for Intel, where he works as a Process Engineer in the AVX group, which controls the threshold voltage with n-type work function metals. Aside from work, he is a proponent of work-life balance – somewhat difficult to find at Intel – and competes in Olympic weightlifting, hikes in the mountains and forests of the PNW, attends concerts, and seeks out the best food carts and restaurants in Portland.