Shashwati Da Cunha
Major: Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
"I interned with the Systems division of IBM Research, which develops semiconductor technologies that will power future demands on IBM's servers and cloud computing systems. I worked remotely with a team based in Albany, NY at IBM Research's chip fabrication facility. Despite being a new intern, I had the opportunity to work on the biggest day-to-day bottleneck in the fab: a process where silicon wafers that had been patterned and tested were "reworked" to be reused for other experiments. The process involves very corrosive materials, necessitating frequent part replacements. I remotely controlled experiments to identify a parallel process that could reduce load on the tool. My recommendations could reduce down time and save nearly $200,000/year in operating costs. Moreover, they exposed me to a wide cross-section of IBM employees across levels and sectors.
Working remotely sharpened both my technical and interspersonal skills through the added support that my project needed. I am sure these learnings helped me to be accepted at top graduate programs and will continue to benefit my research journey. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and am so grateful to my manager, Brown Peethala, and mentors, Kedari Matam, Prasad Bhosale and Robin Schulz! "