Student stories: intern experiences at CITC
February 2, 2022 – Providing access to education is one of CITC’s core activities. We regard education and training as crucial to secure the future of the semiconductor industry in Europe. In addition to our Semiconductor Packaging University Program, we therefore offer internships and graduation assignments to students. Two of our recent students share their CITC experience.
Marley Hoban – internship
In June 2021, Marley Hoban joined CITC for an eight-month internship project. A Mechanical Engineering student from the University of Limerick in Ireland, Marley (21) is in his third year of his bachelor’s degree.
Nijmegen is not the most obvious location for an internship when you are studying in Ireland. Marley explains how he ended up at CITC: “The university distributes our CVs to all the companies it is affiliated with. In my case, CITC picked me and a few other students to interview. After a few rounds of interviews, I was offered an internship.”
Excellent crossover with university
Marley’s project involved adapting a reflow soldering machine for use as a pressure-assisted sintering machine – an interesting mix of practical and theoretical challenges. He comments: “My internship assignment had excellent crossover with my degree. My assignment consisted of designing and building a machine. In doing so, I used many of the skills I had learned in university, like CAD modelling, materials science, coding and metal machining skills.”
He continues: “Before I began, I was not sure what to expect. I had heard stories from friends that did internships in other companies, and they were given boring, menial tasks. However, after starting work, I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting my work was and how much responsibility I was given.”
Encouraging and helpful colleagues
An internship involves more than just a technical assignment; the development of social and collegial skills is also important. Marley describes his internship as an enjoyable experience. “The CITC team is small, welcoming and a pleasure to work with. All my colleagues were encouraging and helpful towards my project. The overall work environment was really nice.”
When asked to characterize his internship in three words, he chooses stimulating, educational and challenging. “I would definitely recommend CITC to other students. CITC ensures that the student’s project is well suited to the degree. Students are given a lot of freedom to approach the problem as they wish. They also have access to excellent lab facilities and experienced scientists, engineers and businesspeople to consult with.”
Bas Braakhekke – graduation assignment
In September 2021, Bas Braakhekke (22) joined CITC for his graduation assignment. Bas is studying Engineering Physics at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Eindhoven. He found CITC’s assignment in the university’s weekly newsletter. “The assignment immediately appealed to me”, says Bas. “The underlying theory was interesting and the assignment itself was clearly worked out.”
Combination of new and familiar topics
Bas’ assignment consisted of optimizing the settings of CITC’s plasma cleaner. He explains: “The goal was to provide the best possible surface for gold-gold and silver-gold wire bonding. I have examined the effect of the cleaning settings by contact angle analysis, wire pull and shear strength tests.”
Semiconductors were hardly covered during his education, so the industry was unknown territory for Bas. “Many topics and their theoretical background were new to me. However, I was acquainted with the measuring methods and techniques like plasma cleaning and contact angle analysis. I think the project has become a well-balanced combination of new topics and familiar material.”
Great place to work
During Bas’ time at CITC, he was part of a group of five interns. One of them is also a Fontys student from Eindhoven, so they regularly carpooled to Nijmegen. Just like Marley, Bas enjoyed his time at CITC. “I can certainly recommend CITC when you’re looking for an internship – especially if you live close to Nijmegen. The campus is a really nice place to work and if I hear about its plans for the future, it will get even better.”
Bas was happy with his assignment, the supervision and the freedom to operate. “What I liked most, however, were the colleagues at CITC. Because it is a small club, I got to know everyone, either on the work floor or on our team outing. And of course it was very nice to work with many peers.”
When also asked to characterize his internship in three words, Bas picks sociable, hands-on and research. “It’s a great place to work for students!” On January 26, Bas presented and defended his final report – successfully awarded an 8.