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Microchip background

Steve Scott: Associate Surface Engineer

“The day-to-day tasks vary widely, and the opportunity for success and improvement is high. The impact I can make on the group is direct and readily apparent.”

Steve ScottQ. Briefly describe your military background prior to joining Micron.

A. I served 23 years in the US Navy and retired as Electronic Technician Senior Chief (ETCS) in the nuclear field. I did sea tours on two Fleet Ballistic Missile submarines of the original “41 for Freedom” working within the reactor controls division. Other tours include: at the Nuclear Field ‘A’ School teaching electronic fundamentals; a tour as the Reactor Controls Division Leading Chief Petty Officer on a Trident submarine; another at Nuclear Field ‘A’ School as the Division Director for Instrumentation and Control Equipment; and a final sea tour as the Engineering Department Master Chief on a third flight Los Angeles Class submarine.

Q. Briefly describe your career with Micron.

A.  I’ve been with Micron a total of five years.  My first four years were spent working in CMP (Chemical Mechanical Planarization) maintaining polishers and metrology equipment, and working process improvements and developments. I also worked on a team to develop and deploy new equipment hosting software. When the Fab I was working at was going to be shutdown, I took a job in the commercial nuclear power field. It was a long two year break, and missed working at Micron. I missed the variation in tasks, the expectation to problem solve and adapt to changing priorities, as well as the fast pace and the expectation for improvement. When I saw an opening in LED manufacturing, I applied. The past year I have been in the LED Surface Engineering group as an engineer working on shift.

Q. How has your military experience benefited you in your career with Micron?

A.  While I have a strong background in electronics, instrumentation and control equipment operation and maintenance, the cross-training and experience with mechanical systems helped with the work I did on electromechanical and pneumatic control systems. Additionally, the soft skills of leadership and followership are beneficial in the team environment, as we are all working towards a common goal – but they are also a positive for being able to work alone to meet team goals. Other military skills that benefited my career include attention to detail, trend analysis, causal analysis, procedural compliance, safety, risk assessment, identifying issues and potential improvements, as well as being able to communicate all of these to further the team’s success. One of the biggest benefits to my career is the ability to adapt to changing priorities and work within what is, at times, a fast-paced and hectic environment. 

Q. What was the biggest challenge for you in transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce?

A.  The biggest challenge is not being in charge.  With that being said, Micron is driven to constantly improve and reduce cost and looks for those ideas from every team member.  Every team member has the opportunity to identify and drive projects that improve product and reduce costs. The other is challenge is that, in a manufacturing environment with rotating shifts, at the end of a work week or shift the job is done and someone else takes the responsibility. The ownership for activities and equipment in the Navy is different from working on shift.

Q. Why did you choose a career with Micron?

A.  I interviewed with a couple of different companies when I had completed my Navy career, but what stood out during the process with Micron is that they demonstrated the company’s agility and recognizes skills and potential. I interviewed for a position that I knew I had the skills to perform, however, I did not have hard skills in semiconductor manufacturing. During the interview process, I was told that I had skills and experience that would be beneficial in a different area, and so I interviewed for the CMP area and was offered a shift engineer position. That was evidence to me that Micron matches people’s skill and career goals to jobs and tasks.

Q. What do you like most about your job?

A. Some parts of the job are the same, such as ensuring the equipment and processes are sustained. But what keeps me engaged and looking forward to coming to work is: the opportunity to aid the team in improving, procedures, techniques, processes, and equipment performance; looking at trends for pending issues; and meaningful tangible and intangible recognition and rewards for performance and contribution. I work in the LED group, which is a fairly new venture, and at the time I started, was in very early development. I am the sole LED Surface Engineering person of shift, and am responsible for a wider variety of equipment and processes. The day-to-day tasks vary widely, and the opportunity for success and improvement is high. The impact I can make on the group is direct and readily apparent.

Q. Where do you see your career taking you in the next five years?

A. In the next five years I am looking for positions of greater leadership and  am pursuing opportunities to be a tool and process owner or shift supervisor.

Q. What keeps you motivated in your current role?

A. The meaningful tangible and intangible recognition and rewards for performance and contribution. The feeling of success when some issue is resolved, whether recognized or not, and the satisfaction of knowing and seeing the impact of a day’s work.

Q. What advice would you have for a current service member about considering a career with Micron?

A. Complete your college degree. Analyze your soft and hard skill sets.  Be ready to discuss times when conflict occurred and how you responded to it, your contributions to team success, and how you have successfully handled stressful situations.