We Are Impedans Series - Head of Sales, Chanel Linnane

Position: Head of Sales

Bio: Chanel is a PhD holder in Plasma Physics from Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland. Early in her career she gained industry knowledge working on collaborative plasma projects with Hewlett Packard Ireland, interning at LAM and furthering her R&D experience as a Post Doctoral Research Engineer at DCU. She moved to industry to work as an etch process engineer at Intel. Her first hand experience in R&D and Industry is inspiring and has allowed her to broaden her horizons into the business world to become the Head of Global Sales here at Impedans. In her spare time, she enjoys family adventures, playing tennis, or working on renovation projects.

What drew you to this career?
During my childhood, I always wanted to be a firewoman (my dad was in the Fire Brigade) but in school, I was told that would never be a possibility. Thankfully times have changed, choices are abundant and I decided to study Physics instead. I was drawn to science and technology as I used to spend a lot of time in my father's garage watching him building or fixing things from basic circuits to cabinets, often making his own tools and templates for the job. During my undergrad and early research roles I focused on optics and spectroscopy (excuse the pun!) but wanted to try something completely different and undertook a PhD in plasma physics. The field of plasma science is extremely broad and varied with every experimental set-up bringing different challenges. There is still much to learn about plasmas.

What excites you about your job with Impedans?
Being on the other side of science and tech, the business side is intriguing. Our customers come from a wide range of industries - semiconductor to medical devices, each with different plasma related issues. Working in a growing company provides lots of opportunities. You have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. One week you could be at a trade show in the US, visiting a customer in Germany or working on an internal campaign. I have learned so much since joining Impedans 5 years ago, it is amazing how much you can expand your knowledge by working in a different role!

What is important in your field and what are the latest developments in your field?
Monitoring the plasma of course! In Semiconductor, nothing affects yield like particles on a wafer especially for ever-shrinking nodes. The ability to identify and predict process variability is key to improving efficiency on the factory floor. Every RF process has a unique signature, measuring drift in the plasma impedance is key to unlocking the potential of direct plasma control. Someday soon, we'll be monitoring our sensors through smartphones, with the ability to predict out-of-control events.

What's the most exciting development you've witnessed since joining the company?
Since joining the company in 2013, I have seen huge strides in the development of sensors and a growing awareness of the need for plasma control. It is so exciting to see our sensors integrated on tools in the fab, we don't just supply R&D instruments, we monitor in real-time too.

How would you describe the company culture?
You have to be passionate about what you do and be willing to try new things, you can't be an innovator if you don't challenge yourself. Working towards continuous improvement and always striving for customer satisfaction is key, none of which is possible without a good team behind you.

What's been the hardest thing you've had to face in your career and how did you overcome it?
Last month I graduated from the International Selling Program run by DIT and Enterprise Ireland. It was a huge challenge to juggle the coursework, my job and family life. Both Impedans and my husband were hugely supportive. One of the reasons I joined Impedans was the willingness for flexibility with work/family life, an essential element to sustain both. Impedans is committed to investing in personnel development.

How would you describe Impedans or How would you describe Impedans in one word?
Innovative - its in our DNA.

Missed our third in the series of 'We Are Impedans'. Follow this link to read about our chief operations officer, JJ Lennon.