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‘Imec does not look at people for who they are, but for what they can become’

Tinneke Van Opstal - Engineer


‘Where you want to be three years from now, is not an unusual question here at imec.’ Tinneke is a process engineer at imec, but started as a process operator. ‘I work with people from various generations and cultures. We challenge each other to see things differently. And that makes us better at what we do.’

A person’s qualities cannot always be put on paper. When Tinneke was 18 years old, she received a phone call from imec, asking if she was interested in a job. At the time, Tinneke had just graduated from high school. Imec was completely unknown to her. That did not stop her to grasp the opportunity. In 1997 she started as a process operator. Today, Tinneke is still proud to work at imec. ‘I started without a university degree, but I had a mentor to whom I could fire off all my questions. That personal approach, combined with my eagerness to learn, helped me to grow quickly.’

Today Tinneke is a process engineer and no longer one of the youngsters on campus. But she stays young at heart. ‘We have PhD students working here. And because they often look at things from a different perspective, they make sure everyone stays focused. I also keep pushing myself to constantly question my own way of working.’ Imec is and always has been an innovative company with a vision for the future. Not only for solutions creating positive change, but also for its people. ‘As a process operator I spent most of my time in the cleanroom executing and following up on procedures.’ As a process engineer, Tinneke’s job is more versatile. ‘Some of my tasks are hands-on, for example making sure all procedures in the cleanroom are going as planned. But I also have more theoretical jobs, such as working on statistical models and data analysis.’

Imec strongly believes in the power of collaboration. Tinneke collaborates with people from different departments and nationalities. ‘I love to join forces with others to find solutions. As process engineer I bridge between researchers and operators.’ Communication is key. Researchers, engineers and operators all need to understand each other to get the desired results. With people coming from different backgrounds, that often can be challenging. But Tinneke sees this as an advantage. ‘People with different educations and cultures often expand your view on things. You start to look at the world from a different perspective. This is both useful at work and in life in general. Imec keeps stimulating this. And that is what makes the company and the people who work here unique.’

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