"An Industry Career Experience as a STEM PhD"
by Brian Layer
Abstract: Are you unsure what you want to do after you finish graduate school? I'll be discussing my experience as a Physics PhD (UMCP '12) who's spent 8 years working in the semiconductor industry, 4 years at Intel followed by 4 years at KLA. At Intel, I worked on development of the 10nm process as a Yield Engineer, and I now work for KLA as a System Design Engineer, developing electron microscopes that are used by every major semiconductor manufacturer worldwide for next-generation process development and yield monitoring during High-Volume-Manufacturing.
I'll try to better inform your career decisions by providing my perspective on the relative tradeoffs between a path in industry vs. academia. I'll then give a brief overview of how the semiconductor industry is structured, the challenges that it faces, and the outlook for the sector. I'll then go into more detail about my experiences at KLA, the problems we're working on, and the opportunities for you if you're interested in working for us.