dcsimg

Career Story: Mechanical Engineer For A Semiconductor Manufacturer

Mechanical Engineer For A Semiconductor Manufacturer

Job Title: Senior Mechanical Engineer

Type of Company: My company make laser-based capital equipment for the semiconductor industry.

Education: Vocational training, 4 years

Previous Experience: I worked as an electrical engineer for 10 years and owned my own custom cabinetry, design and fabrication business.

Job Tasks: I work as a mechanical engineer and am a team leader and a mentor to younger less experienced engineers. My typical day is taken up with mechanical design, at the system level, of precision movement stages that have an accuracy and repeatability of 20-50 nanometers. I also track the progress of projects and report their results and status to senior management. In the semiconductor industry timing is critical. A part of my job that is not so obvious is that I sometimes need to travel to the Pacific Rim countries where most of my company's equipment is installed. I am required to meet with senior staff and work with their applications people in order to customize the process necessary to successfully process their product in a speedy and cost-effective way. Because my job requires me to work at the system level I have to be able to design and troubleshoot complex electronic circuitry. Another part of my job is to interface with marketing and operations and propose ideas for ways to use our mature technology in new applications. Operations is the manufacturing arm of my company; they must have a product design that is workable and meets cost targets.

I am required to work very closely with hundreds of suppliers, sometimes choosing single sources or directed sources for very complex parts and assemblies. Another part of my job is creating drawings and work instructions. Operations cannot accept a new product without all of those items in place. One last thing that I am required to do is create specifications that will define how each machine can be expected to run. I am also responsible for designing crates to ship the product, which weighs in excess of 5000 pounds. Although it sounds simple these crates need to protect these million dollar machines during transit, and the crates also have to be certified as bug free.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the design work, I really enjoy the challenge of designing parts and assemblies and then seeing it all come together and work as designed. Like my peers, I take great pride in my work and really enjoy the design and construction of prototype and Alpha machines.

The worse part of the job is the paperwork and people management. I don't feel that good people need to be micro-managed.

Job Tips: First, you should have an interest in the field of mechanical engineering, then make the educational investment, learn the basics, learn how to model, analyze and build parts and assemblies, then find a company with products that you understand or have an interest in. Pay attention to senior level people, this is where you are going to learn how to design in a practical way. Lastly, find a mentor, someone who will show you the ropes and help you to be a contributor.

Additional Thoughts: When most people think about mechanical engineering they think of metal, nuts and bolts, but it's much more than that. Every part needs to be analyzed and tested. There is a lot of math involved, but most of that is done by computers today. A mechanical engineer needs to know how to program the machines that mill metal into usable parts.

Popular Schools offering Mechanical Engineering Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

The University of California, Riverside
Transforming Engineers into Leaders

If you’re seeking to elevate your technical expertise and take on leadership roles in today’s global workplace, the UC Riverside online Master of Science in Engineering can deliver the highly calibrated balance of scientific and business knowledge to help you reach your goals.

  • Programs: M.S. in Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Specialization, M.S. in Engineering, Data Science Specialization
  • Degrees: Master

The College of Engineering at Villanova University offers flexible, part-time, online and on campus graduate program options to meet your demanding schedule.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
  • Degrees: Master

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: BS in Aeronautics
  • Degrees: Bachelor

You can get started on a new career with Institute of Technology.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.iot.edu/disclosure

  • Programs: Industrial Maintenance and Automated Technology
  • Degrees: Certificate
San Joaquin Valley College
Bakersfield, Ontario, Salida, Visalia

San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.

  • Programs: Certificate - Industrial Maintenance Technician, Degree - Industrial Maintenance Technician
  • Degrees: Certificate, Associate
Brightwood College
Riverside

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

  • Programs: Electrical Technician
  • Degrees: Diploma

Earn your Master's degree online from Norwich University.

  • Programs: Master of Civil Engineering Online
  • Degrees: Master
Milan Institute
Bakersfield

Prepare for an exciting new career at the Milan Institute.

  • Programs: Electrician, Oil and Gas Instrumentation Technician
  • Degrees: Diploma
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Mechanical Engineers, including:

Back to Top