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What we do is unprecedented

Onur Emre Erol from Turkey is Scrum Master and Senior Software Engineer at ASML. With his team of software engineers, he develops software that controls wafer positioning hardware to put a wafer in the exact right position. This requires precision at nanometer level. Moreover, it demands being highly innovative and creative as what the team does has never been done before. ‘What we do at ASML is unprecedented’.



Srum Master and Senior Software Engineer at ASML Onur Emre Erol

“ASML is unique in the world and of great importance to todays and future society,” Onur explains. “Almost all electronic devices contain chips that chipmakers have produced by using ASML’s lithography machines. By improving our technology, we directly improve society. Smaller and faster chips lead to faster internet, better health technology, making mobility smarter and much more.”

Developing software for controlling wafer positioning hardware

“My team is part of the wafer positioning group. We are responsible for making sure that the silicon wafer is in the right place at the right time. Our goal is to write software that controls wafer positioning hardware and puts a wafer in position to ensure that the patterns are etched at the exact right positions. To achieve the patterns requested by our customers, wafers have to be processed multiple times. What we do all boils down to precision at nanometer level.”

Guiding scrum process for software development

“In order to control the wafer position, we use very complex software, written in Phyton or C and C++. My team consists of six  software engineers. In our development process we apply scrum, a software development framework that is known for its iterative, flexible character and self-organizing, cross-functional teams. In my role as Scrum Master, I guide the scrum process.”

“Each morning we have a 15-minute meeting, during which we align our activities. We tell each other what we are working on, what issues we are facing and we look at the ways in which we can help each other. We also discuss if our solutions for existing modules are appropriate for our customers and what we can do to improve them. Each two weeks we make a new planning for the next sprint. After a sprint we involve our internal stakeholders and evaluate the sprint.”

Doing things that have never been done before

“We directly notice the effects of our efforts and strive for continuous improvement. ASML is a really challenging environment as we are doing things that have never been done before. Millions of lines of code have already been written, you must be highly innovative and creative to still be able to improve. You cannot simply look for and copy examples. What we do is unprecedented.”

Working under extreme conditions requires a safe environment

“At the same time, what we do needs to be right the first time, otherwise you lose precious time. To work under such challenging conditions, it is of utmost importance that you create a safe environment. There is no room for mistakes, but at the same time we are only human. So, it is essential not to blame each other but to be collaborative and cheer each other on. That is something that I focus on as a person and from my role as Scrum Master.”

Working on ASML’s machines is enormously challenging

“My first acquaintance with ASML was during my studies at ODTU Middle East Technical University. At university I studied electrical engineering and I specialized in microchips. The university had a setup of an ASML machine. I was already fascinated by it then. And thought it would be really challenging to work on these machines. Now my understanding of the electronics field makes it a lot easier to perform my role. I really know how the wafer is processed.”

Multi-cultural character of the company is very enriching

“Another reason for me to want to work at ASML is that it is a very multi-cultural company. My team alone consists of people from Portugal, Brazil, China, Egypt and the Netherlands. Both ASML and the Brainport Eindhoven region are very international. I learn a lot from different cultures and find that very enriching. So is ASML’s company culture. People here are encouraging, helpful and eager to learn. Together we work hard, and after that there is room to have fun during a barbeque or during drinks.”

Dutch are friendly people, and everyone speaks English

“Before my wife and I decided to move to the Netherlands, I stayed here for a while with a friend. I noticed that Dutch people are very friendly. Moreover, they all speak English which makes it very easy to find your way and get by. There is also an airport in Eindhoven which makes it easy to fly to Turkey and visit our family. Finally, the Netherlands has great nature, and beautiful natural parcs where we walk with our dog. There are also a lot of facilities for dancing, sports and more.”

Possibilities within ASML are limitless

“Moving to the Netherlands and settling in for us was easy, ASML arranged guidance by a relocation company. My wife also quickly succeeded in finding a job. She has a technical background as well and the Brainport Eindhoven region offers lots of possibilities for people with a technical or IT background. There are lots of challenging jobs here. Especially at ASML. ASML provided me with a dream job. Possibilities within ASML are limitless. The technology never stops evolving.”