Brian L. Haas’ career touches upon some of the breakthroughs that create modern microchips.
In eight years at Applied Materials, Inc., and throughout his tenure at KLA-Tencor, (currently as a senior vice president of global customer operations, satisfaction and quality) he says, “the industry was counting on us.”
Haas says his proudest moments have been leading large engineering teams to develop new products for enabling microchip manufacturing at that time, including Applied Materials’ 300mm RTP in 1999 and KLA-Tencor’s Surfscan SP2 in 2004. “They literally enabled our customers to produce the next generation of microchips,” Haas says.
The son of UW-Madison alumni Allen and Dolores Haas, he draws on his own busy undergraduate years in the College of Engineering. In spring 1985, he led a 25-person Tau Beta Pi team to first prize in Engineering Expo, overseeing the design and building of a prototype Magnus Effect windmill. He taught engineering drafting and graphics for three years as an undergraduate assistant for Professor Ernest F. Manner. In his role as a house fellow in the Lakeshore dorms, Haas met his future wife, Mary Leider-Haas.
After completing undergraduate degrees in engineering mechanics and mechanical engineering and mathematics, Haas went on to Stanford University, where he earned his MS and PhD in aeronautics and astronautics.
He then began work at the NASA Ames Research Center in northern California, serving as a senior research scientist and manager there from 1991 to 1995. Applied Materials hired him as a senior process modeling engineer, and from there he ascended to managing the company’s rapid thermal process product unit.
Haas joined KLA-Tencor in 2003, initially as vice president of Surfscan engineering, and eventually as general manager of the Surfscan and reticle inspection divisions, developing products that enable manufacturers to inspect microchips for defects.
His honors include holding 12 U.S. patents, winning the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics National Public Policy Award in 1994, and receiving a Stanford hypersonics fellowship. He serves as a mentor for the Women Unlimited LEAD program and for the Santa Clara University Global Social Benefit Incubator. He also serves on the UW-Madison College of Engineering and the mechanical engineering industrial advisory boards.
Haas lives in San Jose, California with his wife, Mary Leider-Haas, and his children Tanner, 17, Corinne, 17, and Trenton, 12. He enjoys snowboarding, fitness, and playing guitar.