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Darryl Day, IQ Engineer
Computers & ICT

Darryl Day, IQ Engineer

Darryl is currently an IQ Engineer working in the construction of the new FAB 14 building. Darryl's love for school subjects like Maths and Physics helped him with everyday problem solving and analytical skills that are essential for his current engineering roles. After completing a Degree in Physics he undertook a Masters in DCU. He started as a manufacturing process engineer and thrives on the combination of teamwork and advanced technology that Intel provides.

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

The choice of my Master's degree was a key factor in where I am today. It allowed me to focus on studying the areas from my physics degree that I had the most interest in, namely lasers and nanotechnology. It was only from this study that I got to see the relevance of such areas in the semiconductor world and the high potential for employment in this industry.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

One of my lecturers in my post grad degree was an ex Intel employee. He actively used this own real life experiences as case studies and it provided a great insight to the Intel workplace. When looking for employment towards the end of college, he provided some great advice on my future options and heavily encouraged me to look at applying for Intel.

How did you go about getting your current job?

I started in Intel as a graduate process engineer. My manager asked me during my regular one-on-one meetings, where I envision myself in the group for the upcoming new technology. It was here that I was able to express my interest in the ‘tool install’ area.

It wasn’t until many months later, after I had completed an assignment in the US, that I was asked to move to the Install-Qual group. It was great to evidence the personal interest that my manager had in my career progression to encourage this opportunity and this seems to be a value that Intel actively encourages in management.

Describe a typical day?

I begin my day meeting the various contractors responsible for the design and construction of the new Fab 14 building. We discuss the construction schedule, milestones and any current or potential roadblocks. Although the various trades are highly skilled in their areas of design and construction, they have never designed a ‘next technology’ Intel fab! Therefore, experienced Intel tool owner input is extremely valuable here; from advice about fab layouts to details on a specific valve on a facility line.

A visit to the design “cave” is next up, where I problem solve any issues with the 3D modellers and can look real-time at the status of any 3D tool design. Before lunch, it’s either into the sub-fab construction zone or the new cleanroom to witness the current days’ work; which could be anything from area surveying to cleanroom readiness to tool pedestal move-in.

It’s a very dynamic environment at this time! After the busy mornings, the majority of the day is taken up with design reviews of the latest 2D and 3D models and any design meetings that have been scheduled for that day.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

As an Ďinstall toolí owner, I am responsible for managing the safe and successful install of new lithography tools into the new fab. This ranges from 3D design of the tool, to fabrication of pipework, to actual move-in of the main body and all the associated safety and quality checks that are required along the way. As you can see my job varies a lot!

What are the main challenges?

The demands of the new technologies has meant that fabrication tools are ever increasing in size and complexity. These tools have thousands and thousands of metres of required facilities that all have to be modelled in increasingly smaller footprints, while still maintaining strict safety standards, functionality and ever stricter cost budgets. Its proving to be a tougher and tougher challenge to manage such a large scoped project with these constraints.

What's cool?

Itís quite cool to be working on the most advanced manufacturing process in the world. The first time you walk into the fab is like going to a different world.

What's not so cool?

The countless emails to trawl through on a daily basis.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

I have quite a strong background in computers and technology so I certainly find myself falling into the role of technical support on projects e.g. automation of scripts, creating training guides for particular pieces of software, etc. Itís a valuable skill to have, particularly as some of my senior peers are technophobes!

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

Physics and Maths were probably the two most helpful subjects I studied in school. Problem solving and analytical skills are essential in any engineering or science role and these subjects actively develop these strengths.

What is your education to date?

  • Honours Bachelor's Degree in Physics
  • Master's of Electronic Engineering (Nanotechnology and Photonics)

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

From my physics background, I obtained a good grounding in many scientific and engineering fields including mechanics, electronics, chemistry, computers, etc. Having such a varied background has proved invaluable when troubleshooting problems and working with experienced peers in these fields.

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

Getting chosen to go on assignment to the New Mexico site was a standout moment in my career. I gained invaluable experience on a new technology, experienced a very different working culture and met some great peers who I still keep in regular contact with today. The opportunity to travel to some unique locations is a fantastic perk of this job.

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

I have quite a relaxed disposition which certainly helps when things arenít going too smoothly. I think I am pretty good at focusing on the task during these times and not letting the larger problem cause stress for myself or my teammates.

What is your dream job?

I would love to do something that combines my strong interest in writing and my passion for technology, so perhaps a technology journalist would be the ideal job. Playing with the latest gadgets as part of my job is a dream perk!

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

Most definitely. Intel promotes a healthy work-life balance and as a result there is a lot of flexibility. There is never an issue with taking time off, or adjusting working hours to suit personal needs. I also work with a great group of people and we regularly play 5-a-side, organise socials and meet regularly outside work. Although, I could always do with being paid more!

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Go for it! Intel is a fantastic company to work for.

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

The ability to work with people is the key attribute needed. Intel is a helping culture where people constantly collaborate their skills to get things done. You need to be able to approach problems analytically and methodically. Sometimes the environment can get stressful with project deadlines, etc. so having a good attitude and friendly disposition is key, particularly when working as part of a team. The ability to be able to switch off at home is a must!

What is your favourite music?

It varies on a week to week basis. Currently trying to catch up with any act due to play Electric Picnic this year.

What is your favourite film?

Anything with Bill Murray.

What is your star sign?

Virgo

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

Intel actively promotes training and development as a core part of my job role. I find myself in a classroom almost every week! I currently have plans to complete a project management course to aid in my current role.

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

Any job that involves problem solving and data analysis would be the ideal background for this job.

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