Máiréad Breathnach - Test & Integration Engineer

Testing the Future of Technology

Mairead Breathnach, a Sort Integration engineer at Intel, shares her experiences from our multi process test facility in Leixlip.

As a Sort integration engineer I work closely with process engineers, test engineers, and product engineers to maintain and develop quality and reliability standards for our end of line wafer testing processes. This involves continuous risk assessment, identification of potential gaps in our systems, and implementation of robust improvements.

In my almost ten years with Intel, I’ve had the opportunity to work in varied roles, principally within the Sort department, which is essentially the wafer testing department. When I joined Intel in 2011, I worked as a module test engineer, progressing to module team lead for the group within 12 months. This role enabled professional leadership development as I was accountable for the modules performance in terms of safety, quality, and output. I was responsible for management of new product and test program introductions, change control, product and equipment failure debug, team workload prioritization and planning, team skill development, and customer communications and relations.

In 2013, I had the opportunity to work as a product quality and reliability engineer with the Corporate Quality Network to develop the Intel® Quark™ processor, which was the first product designed in Ireland. It was quite an exciting time! This work was different because I gained insight into how a product develops from initial concept and design to the manufacturing of the first microprocessors. Previous to this role, I had always dealt with the end product, so it was interesting get a holistic view of the process. During that assignment I worked with design and test development teams in Ireland and Malaysia and was lucky enough to spend some time working with colleagues at the Assembly Test Site in Malaysia.

My next assignment was as a Parametric Test seed engineer for a process start up. I spent four months in Portland, Oregon, learning and documenting the new process in order to train my colleagues back home on the technical changes and challenges that we needed to master to ensure our start up and ramp was a success in Leixlip.

One great part of working at Intel is the strong ethos on continuous learning and development. When you join you are assigned two things: a buddy and a mentor. Your buddy helps you navigate your way through Intel and Intel life. And your mentor will spend several weeks training you on all aspects of your job, including equipment and processes. These teammates help you build up a relationship with your group immediately, while also getting excellent training. 

I think this healthy culture is key to the success of my team. Within my group we have brought the team to a level that everyone is cross trained in different aspects and roles of the module, so there is always someone familiar with your work and able to help. We work on everything from high performance servers to low power devices, including mobile phones, wearable devices, and the Internet of Things. When you look at the potential applications for these technologies, things like autonomous driving, it is incredible to step away from the minute processes of my job and realize where these technologies are heading.

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