KLA Careers

Applications Engineer

Company Overview

SPTS Technologies, a KLA company, designs, manufactures and markets wafer processing solutions for the global semiconductor and related industries. SPTS provides industry leading etch and deposition process technologies on a range of single wafer handling platforms. End-market applications include micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), advanced packaging, LED, high speed RF device IC’s and power semiconductors. SPTS is part of KLA Corporation which develops industry-leading equipment and services that enable innovation throughout the electronics industry. We provide advanced process control and process-enabling solutions for manufacturing wafers and reticles, integrated circuits, packaging, printed circuit boards and flat panel displays. In close collaboration with leading customers across the globe, our expert teams of physicists, engineers, data scientists and problem-solvers design solutions that move the world forward.


SPTS wafer processing solutions include market-leading silicon etch, dielectric etch, dry-release etch, PVD, PECVD and molecular vapor deposition (MVD®), available with a range of wafer-handling options applicable to R&D, pilot production, or volume production environments. SPTS is headquartered and has its main manufacturing facility in Newport, UK, with additional manufacturing in Allentown, Pennsylvania. SPTS operates across 19 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, and offers comprehensive service and spare parts support through a worldwide network of service centers and qualified local agents.


Primary Purpose of Job

To understand, deliver, demonstrate and fully implement a process solution that meets and aims to exceed our customer requirements with a focus on 300mm wafer processing at key customer sites.  This position is primarily located in Hillsboro, OR.

Key Responsibilities

Manufacturing related activities

  • Installation of customer specific processes on systems and testing compliance with agreed process specification (“process transfer”).
  • Coordinate with Sales department and customer (as required) during process transfer.
  • Expected to coordinate aspects of the process as it relates to the customer’s process wafer flow.
  • Interface with customer representatives during pre-shipment acceptance visit.
  • Assistance with identification and rectification of hardware faults as relates to customer and/or demo systems.
  • Improvement in procedures and specifications related to the delivery of quality equipment to the customer.
  • Continuous improvement of existing recipes with keen focus on exceeding customer requirements.
  • Involved in Defect Reduction programs at key accounts.

On-site process support for end-users (field support)

  • On-site attendance at end-user facility to verify tool process performance to specification after installation (Process Acceptance).
  • On-site attendance at end-user site to provide process development support for new applications.
  • Coordination of on-site progress review meetings during process acceptance or process development visits.
  • Active reporting to Applications Manager during on-site visits.
  • Remote process support for service engineers/customers as needed.

Engineering/R+D Coordination

  • Cooperation with internal SPTS groups to ensure correct/matching process transfer from lab to customer.
  • Cooperation with internal SPTS groups to resolve manufacturing issues, reliability issues impacting process performance and on-site operational issues.
  • Contribution to project teams set up to address specific engineering activities and improvement plans.
  • Cooperation with R+D groups to develop and verify process/product improvements.

Sales related activities

  • Live demonstrations of sample processing to prospective customers at SPTS and/or non-SPTS demo lab facility.
  • Provision of reports describing evaluation of process recipes, limitations on their application and process performance specifications.
  • Definition of appropriate hardware configuration for each process recipe.
  • Technical discussions with prospective customers in relation to process specifications and appropriate hardware configuration.
  • Develop familiarity with process control equipment, e.g. laser end-point detectors, mass spectrometers, optical emission spectrometers, plasma impedance monitors.
  • Ability to effectively deliver Process Training Courses.


  • An Applications Engineer is expected to pro-actively summarise progress, highlight problems, and propose solutions to the Applications Manager.
  • An Applications Engineer is expected to manage and organise written work, within the framework of procedures/work instructions, and with the aim of being an effective team member.
  • Additional process-related activities may become necessary as SPTS responds to changing markets.

Key Behavioural Competencies

  • Able to communicate effectively with all levels within the Company.
  • Flexible and highly motivated with a “hands on”, “can do” approach.
  • Able to work as part of a small team or in an unsupervised role with generally tight deadlines.
  • Able to carry out relevant project work in a multi-tasked manner.
  • Able to effectively mentor other team members as required.

Practical Requirements

  • May be required to work away from home at specific customer site(s) or abroad for extended periods at time (several weeks, for example) on short notice.



  • Educated to degree level in a relevant science or engineering discipline.  Masters/Ph.D. preferred.
  • 5+ years of experience required in a high technology environment with knowledge of clean room procedures and analytical instrumentation.
  • Etch process equipment experience on semiconductor equipment tools such as LAM/AMAT/TEL/SPTS
  • Experience with 300mm wafer production
  • Experience with Lean/6-sigma principles desired
  • Experience with fishbone and root cause analyses required
  • Experience of dealing with customers and finds gratification in assisting the customer.
  • Experience of report writing / progress presentations on a routine and frequent basis.
  • Knowledge of Office programs and data analysis packages.
  • Hands-on experience of process engineering.
  • Modern familiarity with production facilities and understanding of general semiconductor manufacturing flows.


Minimum Qualifications

Master's Level Degree with at least 3 years of experience. OR Doctorate (Academic) OR Bachelor's Level Degree with at least 5 years of experience.

Equal Employment Opportunity

KLA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants will be considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or any other characteristics protected by applicable law.

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