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.
Q2 2019 SPOTLIGHT: Elizabeth Lee, X-FAB
SEMI is excited to recognize Elizabeth Lee of X-Fab as the SEMI Spotlight on Women Honoree for Q2 2019!
Spotlight on SEMI Women celebrates the many accomplished women who work in the global microelectronics industry. Nominees in the quarterly spotlight 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. Learn how you can nominate a woman for Spotlight on SEMI Women.
Elizabeth Lee loved technology from a young age. As a child Elizabeth once took apart a broken VHS player and managed to repair the device, armed with nothing but a strong sense of curiosity. After over 15 years in the microelectronics industry, it’s clear that this love, along with Elizabeth’s drive, curiosity, and tenacity has allowed her to thrive in her career. Leadership comes in many forms, as a Quality Systems Engineer at X-Fab, Elizabeth has made a significant impact at her organization and in her community.
Growing up in a rural Texas town of less than 200 people, opportunities to learn about STEM were extremely limited. Although Elizabeth’s interest in technology started at a young age, her first real opportunity for exposure came during high school in the form of a computer science class. Elizabeth became fascinated with understanding the physics of how computers worked and was inspired to pursue electrical engineering at Texas Tech University after graduation.
Elizabeth’s transition to university life was difficult. Lee was balancing a family with young children in addition to the electrical engineering curriculum. Elizabeth didn’t see how her efforts would translate into a career. During her junior year at Texas Tech Elizabeth was ready to move into a different field and requested a transfer into civil engineering. Looking back, Elizabeth recognizes this moment was a crucial turning point in her life that would eventually propel her into the semiconductor industry. Lee’s academic advisor, also a woman, denied the transfer request and pushed Elizabeth to stay on her current trajectory. She also pushed Lee to expand her focus outside of academics and get hands on experience through undergraduate research.
After encouragement from her counselor, Elizabeth found herself performing research at the nanotech center at Texas Tech. Lee also began volunteering with West Texas BEST—a high school robotics program that engages students in STEM and Semiconductor technologies.
Elizabeth has now volunteered for BEST for over 18 years and was involved with the game development board in the capacities of game idea concept, game rule creation, and as an author. Elizabeth served on the South Plains chapter of IEEE as secretary of the board, vice chair, chair, and is currently an advisor for the TTU IEEE student brand of WiE (Women in Engineering). She is also currently serving as a board member on the Industrial Advisory Board of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department of Texas Tech University and Faculty/Staff committee chair. Elizabeth more recently has been involved with SEMI’s own High Tech U, a STEM immersion program for high school students, and will serve as an emcee for the third time in an upcoming program.
Elizabeth’s leadership isn’t limited to her community. Lee finished her education with a master’s from Texas Tech after her research in MEMS biomedical lab-on-a-chip and quantum mechanics evaluation of AIO2 tunnel junctions. Elizabeth began her journey with X-Fab in 2004 where her responsibilities have included sustaining legacy node Silicon technologies and developing yield improvement analysis techniques in the areas of Silicon and Silicon Carbide. She was awarded the Technical Ladder distinction of “Principal Engineer” in 2015. Elizabeth has over 15 years of experience in areas of quality, yield improvement, and process integration which support X-FAB’s foundry customer’s with yield and failure investigations. In addition to Elizabeth’s technical accomplishments, she represented X-FAB in the role of Value Promoter that comprised of training employees on X-FAB core values. Over the course of Elizabeth’s career at X-FAB she has become a leader through her internal continual improvement initiatives and her dedication to her community.
“As an industry we must come together and create support groups for students—I know first-hand that students from smaller communities haven’t had the same opportunities or access to engineering, and I would have loved to have been involved with a program like SEMI High Tech U growing up. Additionally, I want to be a face for these young junior high and high school students, to show them that a woman can have a strong personality and still accomplish everything she set’s her mind to with success.” Elizabeth Lee
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