While growing up in China, I was always fascinated by machines and tools and how they benefit our daily lives. My dad worked in the automotive industry, and when our family visited factories, I always enjoyed watching the automated assembly of cars. Starting then, I knew that I wanted to use science to design solutions for societal and industrial challenges like clean energy, increased automation, and autonomous driving.

Knowing that engineers who complete important projects enjoy a great sense of achievement, I decided to study engineering at Imperial College, London, U.K. Around November 2020, I started to look for internships.

I was seeking an internship offering real-world engineering experience that would deliver a feeling of achievement by working on actual projects that would impact career growth. Although I interviewed with multiple companies, I focused on KLA because the internship presented opportunities to gain direct experience with mechanical design and learn about high-tech solutions for manufacturing. I was also impressed by KLA’s substantial growth and influential position in the semiconductor industry.

My initial interview with the hiring manager was pleasant and collaborative, and I hoped our dialog represented the workplace culture at KLA in Shanghai where I would be based.

Yinghao Wang enjoyed the hands-on experience he got during his experience building tools at KLA.

From the start of the internship in September 2021, the engineers treated me as a colleague, and I was assigned two projects. For the first one, I worked through a full design process starting with a concept, made 3D models and drawings, ordered parts, and assembled and tested my work. A colleague and I reworked the project, improving small details until we were satisfied with the design.

For the second project, I helped correct, organize and upload engineering drawings for a major upgrade of a KLA tool, then helped assemble the tool in the cleanroom. As the crated tool was lifted to a truck for shipment to a customer in Singapore, I really felt that feeling of achievement because I had actually seen and touched the tool that emerged from those engineering drawings.

My 11 months at KLA helped to connect knowledge from college with actual work experience in the semiconductor industry. Not only did I gain practical knowledge of cutting, grinding, and drilling in KLA’s lab, but I also became skilled at designing parts to meet specific customer needs. And, I improved my communication skills while negotiating with vendors about lead times, part precision, and finishing.

I really valued KLA’s workplace interaction. The engineers were very nice and willing to help, often sharing their own experiences. I also joined meetings when team members discussed their own challenges and was impressed by how they shared knowledge to resolve engineering issues. Observing these interactions strengthened my ability to become a successful engineer.

Mindful of each experience during the internship, I returned to Imperial College as a junior in August 2022 with areas to focus on during my studies before I graduate. I hope to earn an MBA and, based on my knowledge and experience at KLA, would like to lead a team of talented engineers to fulfill that childhood ambition of solving problems that make a difference.

Wang Yinghao

Wang Yinghao grew up in China, always knowing he wanted to use science to design…

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