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Making the World a Better Place: Passionate Problem-Solver Works to Advance Technologies

Jan 3, 2023 3 min read

When KLA application engineer Tetyana Shapoval was growing up in Kyiv, Ukraine, she discovered a love for figuring out problems and was drawn to math. In secondary school, an innovative teacher motivated students by conducting interesting experiments, exposing Tetyana to the universal language of physics.

Given her passion for solving complex problems, she decided to study physics, ultimately earning her Ph.D in Germany. It was during this time that her daughter was born, and life took another turn.

“I began looking for a job and saw an application engineer posting at KLA, but as a physicist, I wasn’t sure about that field. But after one interview, I discovered that KLA is a company of passionate problem-solvers, and I was sold on the job.”

Tetyana Shapoval, application engineer, KLA

Customer Champion Investigates and Finds Solutions

As an application engineer within the Customer Engagement (CE) team of the Semiconductor Process Control business unit, Tetyana’s role is all about being innovative to meet customer requirements. She sees herself as the eyes and ears of customers – listening to expectations, understanding challenges and collaborating with them to optimize their KLA products.   

“I work at all levels of customer organizations from the board room to the shop floor,” she says. “It’s like being a detective, digging into mysteries and figuring out solutions.”

As part of the European CE team, Tetyana and her colleagues challenge each other to understand technology trends and deliver unique and differentiated solutions – from research and development to final production – that help customers manage yield throughout their manufacturing processes.

Advancing Technologies for Customers’ Current and Future Needs

Tetyana’s work on a team that shares her passion for problem-solving carries over into KLA’s advanced technologies.

“Because being indispensable to our customers’ success is a key KLA value, one of my areas of focus is helping KLA developers understand customer needs now and in the future,” Tetyana explains. “The technology is so exciting. Although I’ve been working in application engineering for 10 years, I appreciate KLA’s continuous learning culture and am expanding my technical knowledge and learning new platforms, particularly in optics and magnetics.”

She now supports five products, earning various levels of certification and expertise, and is learning about product management and marketing.  

Tetyana and Ilka Krause (right), HR manager, Central Europe, participate in a running event as part of a KLA team.

Working in a Family Friendly and Collaborative Culture

Tetyana immediately found a family friendly culture at KLA Germany in Dresden that was especially supportive of her as a parent. She could plan her day around working hard, supporting customer needs and balancing time for her family. Tetyana also embraced the importance KLA places on advancing humanity.

“I found a community environment within our team,” Tetyana says. “I immediately felt at home among smart, curious people collaborating to solve problems and develop solutions to help advance humanity.”

After 10 years at KLA, she values the focus on employee wellbeing and our global communities more than ever – especially now as most of her family, including her parents and brother, live in Ukraine.

“I felt grief for my family and country, and my manager and HR were proactive and reached out to ask how they could assist,” she says. “Colleagues have helped with donations and in other ways, and this has meant so much to me.”

A Very Active Life with her Family

When she’s not working, Tetyana sings and travels with her choir group or spends time with her family hiking, playing tennis and skiing with her husband, Jochen, and children Lara and Arthur. They also spend time in a scenic village in eastern Germany near a forest that Tetyana describes as “pure relaxation and beauty.”

Tetyana and Jochen, a chemist who collects music, hope to inspire their children through their work.

“Lara loves painting, cooking and music and is very creative,” she says, “and Arthur is crazy about cars – his first word wasn’t mama, but car.”

Be sure to catch up on our previous employee spotlights in our Opportunity Ahead, Making the World a Better Place and Inclusion for All series, and don’t forget to browse the KLA careers page for the opportunities ahead.

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