Sameer Ansari, an S.M. graduate in the AMM&NS programme, is no unfamiliar face in the semiconductor industry. Currently a Principal Engineer at Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd, where he works in the Quality and Reliability Assurance (QRA) group, he has previously worked in failure analysis for 4 years, where his job scope encompassed the testing of devices after production in the wafer foundry to ensure their quality. He was a member of the team which developed the new TEM sample preparing technique using the FIB in Chartered and has been singled out to run the FA lab with 20 people reporting to him as part of the job rotation programme. Besides these career achievements, he received two promotions and two Special Merit Awards (SMAs). He has also presented 6 technical papers at international conferences, receiving the “Best Technical Paper” award in the International Symposium for Testing and Failure Analysis (ISTFA), 2002 held in Santa Clara, USA.
Sameer found his experience at SMA a useful stepping stone to greater excellence in his career. It provided him a strong foundation and understanding of the semiconductor industry and IC processes.
“Without the knowledge and vision I received during my graduate studies at SMA, I do not think I would have reached this far. The programme was designed to equip us with the right tools and skill sets needed for the semiconductor industry. I find myself using the skills acquired at SMA on an almost daily basis.”
It is not surprising then that even upon graduating from SMA, Sameer has held a great regard for the thirst of intellectual curiosity that his education had imbued him with. He has maintained a strong bond with SMA and the alumni through the SMA Alumni Club (SMAAC). He held the post of Assistant Treasurer and Secretary of the Club in 2002 and 2003 respectively.
He quotes a line delivered in a speech by Dr Morris Chang, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), at the SMA Symposium 2003:
“I personally used only 20% of the knowledge I gained in undergraduate and graduate classes. I acquired lifelong learning habits and discipline in college (Harvard, MIT & Stanford). College stimulated my curiosity for knowledge; for all things around me. That developed my ability to think independently and critically. These were the treasures that my educational system gave me and that I have carried with me all my life.”
Sameer also feels that apart from the technical knowledge gained from the SMA programmes, students should ingrain the entrepreneurial spirit and possess the ability to think independently and critically. He plans to continue his career in the semiconductor industry and hopes to embark on a technopreneurial venture of his own someday.