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SEMI recognises 'key players'

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SEMI Europe has announced recipients of the European SEMI Award and Special Service Award for 2022 at the SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium Europe (ISS Europe 2023).

Melexis chairwoman Françoise Chombar was honored with the European SEMI Award and professor Thomas Skotnicki of Warsaw University of Technology and the Institute of High Pressure Physics (CENTERA Labs) with the Special Service Award.

Established more than 30 years ago, the European SEMI Award and Special Service Award recognize key players in the global manufacturing supply chain, highlighting their leadership excellence and strategic contributions that lead to critical advances in the semiconductor industry.

“We are honored to recognize Françoise Chombar and professor Thomas Skotnicki for their outstanding leadership and tremendous contributions to Europe’s semiconductor community,” said Laith Altimime, president of SEMI Europe. “These extraordinary leaders have been instrumental in helping the semiconductor industry fulfill its ambitions and inspiring future generations to drive toward a more equitable, digital and greener future.”

“More diversity, equity and inclusion lead to more innovation, increased competitiveness, more decent leadership, higher levels of job satisfaction and a greater sense of community,” Chombar said. “Humbled to receive the 2022 European SEMI Award, I’d like to dedicate it to all the wonderful people I have the chance to collaborate with, and I hope it encourages many more diverse talents to strengthen the exciting semiconductor space, particularly in the EU, a great place to live and work.”

Chombar is Chairwoman and co-founder of Melexis, a fabless company based in Europe. She has served as Melexis CEO for 18 years. She is also president of the STEM-Platform, an advisory board to the Flemish government. Her long-term commitment to actively advocating for more STEM and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is driven by her profound belief in their positive societal impact.

Recognitions for Chombar’s work include the 2016 Vlerick Business School Award for excellence in management, the 2018 BNP Paribas Global Prize for Women Entrepreneurs, the 2019 Flemish Community Honor, and the 2021 Medal of Honor by the Science and Technology Group of KU Leuven. She is UGent Honorary Ambassador for Applied Language Studies and VUB Honorary Science Fellow. In 2020, she was elected to Inspiring Fifty Belgium, a list of inspirational women in tech.

“Breakthrough innovation is not a piece of cake,” professor Skotnicki said. “It took me 26 years to convey the UTBB FD CMOS technology from equation to fabrication. This technology is now in production and has been labeled European KET. These great results were made possible by the support, openness, and confidence of my managers at STMicroelectronics, Jean-Marc Chery and Joel Hartmann. The European SEMI Special Award brings me a great satisfaction that I share with my collaborators and Ph.D. students.”

Professor Skotnicki has been active in the semiconductor industry for over 30 years. He joined Telecom France in 1985 and STMicroelectronics in 1999 to become the first Company Fellow and Technical Vice President. He co-leads the CENTERA project (International Research Agenda funded by Foundation for Polish Science) and is professor at Warsaw University of Technology, Poland.

He holds 80 patents has authored nearly 500 scientific papers on CMOS and Energy Harvesting. Professor Skotnicki invented the UTBB FDSOI structure (in production at STMicroelectronics, GlobalFoundries and Samsung). Models of his MASTAR software were used for calculations of CMOS roadmaps. He is an IEEE Fellow, and served on the executive committees for several industry conferences.

Nominations for the 2023 European SEMI Award are open. Please see the award guidelines. Prior European SEMI Award recipients hailed from companies including imec, Soitec, CEA-Leti, Technical University of Dresden, Catholic University of Leuven, STMicroelectronics, EV Group, Infineon, and the Fraunhofer Institute.

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