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Employee Spotlight: Tanja Postma

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Employee Spotlight: Tanja Postma

What does an Entegris employee look like? What do they do all day, and what do they like about their jobs? This blog is part of a series that will take a deep dive into a variety of careers at Entegris. We’ll highlight several employees and their valuable contributions to the organization. What do they do, how are they succeeding, and why do they think Entegris is a great place to work?  

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What was your background prior to joining Entegris?

I was originally born and raised in South Africa, and I graduated with a bachelor’s in business education from the University of Johannesburg. After that, I spent most of my career overseeing medical diagnostics manufacturing at the South African site of an Italian multi-national. Following the closure of the local site to align global facilities, I received the opportunity to move with the company to the U.S. as their VP of operations and shared services in Stillwater, MN. I joined Entegris at the beginning of 2021.

How has your role evolved at Entegris?

I initially headed up the company’s emerging life sciences operations in our Bloomington facility, and then became the senior director of operations for life sciences globally. Early in 2023, I was asked to be the project lead for the development of our Colorado Springs Manufacturing Center of Excellence. Most recently, I received the opportunity to take over as VP of operations at our Advanced Materials Handing (AMH) division.

Can you tell us a little more about the Colorado Springs project?

Sure! I served as the project lead for the new facility, facilitating the process from the design stage. However, this is a much bigger project than just setting up a manufacturing facility, as we were simultaneously applying for a grant under the CHIPS and Science Act.

Because the project is such a big focus area for Entegris, we also wanted to make sure that we demonstrated our active partnership with the community. Part of this was working with HR on labor development and recruiting potential talent directly from the surrounding area. We have partnered with both businesses and the community on this and other initiatives, which will help ensure that people who live in Colorado Springs will benefit directly from our presence.

Phase 1 of the project consists of a 130,000 square foot facility, which is set to be manufacturing operational early in 2025. It will produce ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UPE) membrane to support our growing capacity requirements. It will also create front opening unified pods (FOUPs) which are currently only manufactured in Malaysia. Because domestic semiconductor industry growth is accelerating, we’ve had a very constricted timeline – speed is of the essence, and it has been essential to execute to the tight schedule.

How do you feel about leaving for your new role before seeing the facility completed?

It’s a little bittersweet! The Colorado Springs facility was always my baby. But because AMH products will be made at the plant, I’ll always have that connection.

Can you tell us about the AMH division?

Having just started my new position in January, I’m still onboarding. I am fortunate to know many of the team members and processes from my previous experience. For instance, I’m very familiar with the life sciences part of the business, and I was also part of the operations integration team after Entegris acquired CMC Materials.

The biggest part of AMH creates semiconductor handling solutions, such as FOUPs and contactless wafer shippers, clean chemical delivery solutions, and process monitoring technology. In getting up to speed on the business, I’ve been fortunate to visit our sites in the U.S. and Asia and directly experience our advanced manufacturing environments. Everywhere I’ve visited, I’ve been impressed by people with broad experience, in-depth knowledge, and a willingness to share.

How do you collaborate or cross-pollinate with other business units at Entegris?

Every operations leader has a reporting line into global operations and supply chain quality (GOSCQ). This affords the opportunity for collaboration and also ensures that operations teams are well aligned. We constantly learn from and share with one another to make certain that everyone can benefit from what’s been working well.

What are the challenges you face regarding trends within automation, contamination resistance, and wafer protection?

Our customers are becoming more demanding, and their expectations are increasing. For example, the issue with automation is that everything needs to be customized due to our complex manufacturing processes. Fortunately, we have ingenious teams around the world who help us make fantastic progress.

What do you like about working at Entegris?

I love the people, the environment, and the problems we’re solving. No two days are ever the same! There’s always a new challenge and a new opportunity. I’ve had the chance to grow my career and my perspectives with a great team of passionate co-workers. Meanwhile, I’ve seen how our core PACE Values are truly lived across all levels – which makes me proud to be part of the team!

Thanks to Tanja for sharing this great information about her leadership role at Entegris. Learn more about Entegris careers

 

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