Spotlight on SEMI Women recognizes and celebrates the many accomplished women who work in our global microelectronics industry. We want to put the spotlight on the fact that this industry welcomes, includes, honors and promotes women. To shine the light on the amazing women who work in our SEMI member companies, please nominate one or more stars from your workplace. Nominees in our quarterly spotlight will include women who are beacons of knowledge, leaders of organizations and initiatives, hidden heroes and innovators in our industry. They are volunteers, protectors, intellectual disruptors and activists.
Q4 2018 SPOTLIGHT: ELLIE YIEH, APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.
Ellie Yieh has been a trailblazer at Applied Materials since she began her career with Applied in 1989 as a process engineer in the Chemical Vapor Deposition group. Ellie’s contributions have made a lasting impact on the business and she continues her path of innovation as corporate vice president for Advanced Product Technology Development. Ellie is responsible for the company’s state-of-the-art Maydan Technology Center and works closely with customers and business units to drive advanced product development and technology roadmaps. In addition, Ellie leads R&D for developing new memory and logic innovations that will drive future business opportunities for Applied. In 2018 she was named an Applied Materials Fellow, the company’s highest honor for outstanding technical achievement. She is also a board member of Applied Ventures, LLC, the company’s venture capital arm.
During her 30 years at Applied, she has led the development of several successful products and enabled her teams to deliver growth in profitability and market share, while building strong customer relationships and developing innovative technologies. Of note is Ellie’s leadership in developing industry-leading Gapfill technologies to address the increasingly important shallow trench isolation and inter-layer dielectric applications for denser pitches. Further, Ellie spearheaded the adoption of Applied’s low-k Producer® Black Diamond® system, helping to develop and introduce a robust, low-k film that could withstand both the newly adopted copper back end-of-line and packaging integration challenges.
Ellie’s journey in technology began when she immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan at the age of 15 with her family. She quickly stood out due to her stellar academic performance in math and science. Her academic excellence landed her at UC Berkeley’s College of Chemistry. Ellie’s adaptability as an Asian female became crucial as she navigated a field dominated by male engineers. She received a B.S. in chemical engineering from UC Berkeley and now holds more than 100 semiconductor engineering patents. In 2016 she was inducted into the Women in Technology International (WITI) Hall of Fame for outstanding contributions to the scientific and technological communities. She was also named one of the 2015 “Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology” by the National Diversity Council.
Ellie has also been spending time championing for woman engineers. She is a member of the advisory boards for UC Berkeley’s College of Chemistry and the Silicon Valley Women in Engineering group at San Jose State University.
“The technical challenges come like clockwork so we are always on our toes working on the next problem and the next solution. I enjoy each of the challenges to put the puzzle together. It’s a team sport; we are all dependent on each other to win and when we look at a problem I am just another engineer on the team trying to solve the problem. But I am also responsible for setting higher level direction for priorities, objectives and vision. It has been very fun for me and I love what I do.” -Ellie Yieh
To nominate an amazing woman to the “Spotlight on SEMI Women” series, please submit nomination form describing her accomplishments and why she deserves to be celebrated. Achievements should fall within one or more of any of the following categories (if you believe your nominee is exemplary but these categories do not fit her accomplishment, please suggest a category and nominate accordingly):
- Revolutionized processes or procedures
- Volunteerism or community activism
- Veteran of note
- Mentor or role model
- Exemplifies corporate core values