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‘Why this is a job you cannot prepare for’

Joris Verhoeven - Operator & coordinator


Imec is an innovative company with a clear vision for the future. ‘I have always liked new technology. The fact that imec does research for technological solutions immediately drew my attention.’ However technology is not an end but a means. ‘We use technology to improve solutions from healthcare to mobility and energy systems.’

When Joris saw a news report about imec a couple of years ago, it immediately drew his attention. ‘I worked at an industrial firm. When I saw the job application for operator at imec, I decided to go for it.’ When Joris signed his contract, he did not know a thing about wafers or microchips. ‘I thought that as operator, I would do similar things as in my previous job: fixing machines. But I was wrong, which was a good thing.’ The fact is, nowhere in the world people do what imec does. ‘I simply could not be prepared for this.’ That is why imec educates its people during their first few years. It often involves complicated subjects. That makes the training a time consuming process. ‘I got a mentor who guided me through my first month. After one year I was capable of doing about 80% of my job description.’

Imec invests time and money in its employees, and that pays off. ‘I am really happy here. Imec gives you the chance to build up experience and grow in your function.’ In addition to being operator, Joris is now also a coordinator. ‘80% of my time, I am still operator. I check machines, do tests and follow up results. The other 20% of my day, I supervise a team of four to five people, which is a nice addition to my work.’ Collaboration is necessary to achieve the most accurate results. ‘Every single day I learn something new. My team and I work together as a close group of friends, which makes our work enjoyable. And because the atmosphere is so positive, we are able to find better solutions together. We often come up with improvements.’ Being open-minded is an attitude that runs through the entire organisation. That also includes management. ‘They always listen to what we have to say. In fact, management encourages this open approach of collaboration.’

In the cleanroom every day is different. ‘We do not work on a specific project until it is finished. No, we are constantly innovating, day in day out. And because we work on multiple projects, every day is different.’ Sometimes Joris and his team work on classified projects. But no matter the company nor the project they are working for, they know that the technology they are developing will certainly contribute to a better life. ‘It is about creating positive change. And in the end, that is what matters the most.’

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