A window into the clear room

Abbie (Carlstein) Gregg ’74 remembers giving up on carrying lab gloves throughout her undergraduate analysis at MIT. There weren’t any sufficiently small to suit her, at a time when undergraduate males outnumbered ladies on campus 15 to 1. Even so, it was the primary time she’d met different ladies inquisitive about engineering and know-how—and he or she shortly discovered a house within the Metallurgy Division (now Supplies Science and Engineering). 4 many years later, Gregg has made a profession designing clear rooms and labs for semiconductor manufacturing and analysis everywhere in the world. 

At MIT, Gregg was drawn to semiconductors. For her thesis, she and collaborators despatched semiconductor crystals into area on NASA’s Skylab to check the idea that gravity causes non-uniformities in crystal development, which they predicted would result in defects in circuit perform as chips grew to become extra advanced. “We introduced the crystals again to Earth and we measured them, and positive sufficient, they have been utterly uniform,” she remembers; in the meantime, these they’d grown on Earth “had all these non-uniformities.” Gregg would later revisit this work as a “thought experiment” for an aerospace firm exploring gadget fabrication in area. 

After MIT, Gregg labored at Fairchild Semiconductor on enhancing its manufacturing. By discussions with employees, “I took an interest within the constructed atmosphere, and in optimizing each the human components and the product yield,” she says.

Gregg started designing semiconductor manufacturing vegetation, spending about 10 years as a “startup junkie” at totally different firms earlier than founding Abbie Gregg, Inc. The agency accomplished some 850 initiatives, primarily for college, trade, and authorities labs, earlier than it was purchased in 2019 by AM Technical Options (the place Gregg is now chief know-how officer). She strives to create areas which might be secure, useful, and aesthetically pleasing, with loads of home windows and pure gentle. “Individuals don’t put home windows in clear rooms as a result of they are saying ‘We don’t wish to take a look at an industrial scene,’” Gregg says. “But when a clear room doesn’t look stunning, there’s one thing improper with it; it’s poorly deliberate or it isn’t maintained.”

One among Gregg’s favourite initiatives introduced her again to the place she began: MIT. She did the preliminary planning and design for the clear rooms and labs in MIT.nano, MIT’s new residence for nanotech analysis. Shortly after it opened, she visited campus for her 45th reunion in 2019. “I ended and watched the brand new graduates peeking into that constructing and exhibiting their mother and father,” she remembers. “That was probably the most wonderful feeling. That’s my legacy.”

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