Windows leading to the clean room


Abbie (Carlstein) Gregg ’74 remembers that she gave up wearing laboratory gloves during her undergraduate studies at MIT. Nothing is small enough for her. At that time, there were 15 to 1 more male undergraduates than females on campus. Even so, this was the first time she met other women interested in engineering and technology-she quickly found a suitable candidate. Home in the Department of Metallurgy (now Materials Science and Engineering). Four years later, Gregg’s career is designing clean rooms and laboratories for semiconductor manufacturing and research around the world.

At MIT, Greg was attracted to semiconductors. In her paper, she and her collaborators sent semiconductor crystals into space in NASA’s Sky Lab to test the theory that gravity causes uneven crystal growth. They predict that as chips become more complex, this will lead to circuit functions. defect. “We brought the crystals back to Earth and measured them, and sure enough, they were exactly the same,” she recalled. At the same time, the ones they planted on the earth “have all these inhomogeneities.” Greg later re-examined this work as a “thought experiment” for aerospace companies that explore space equipment manufacturing.

After graduating from MIT, Greg worked at Fairchild Semiconductor to improve its manufacturing. Through discussions with workers, “I became interested in the built environment and optimizing human factors and product output,” she said.

Gregg began designing semiconductor manufacturing plants. Before founding Abbie Gregg, Inc., he worked as a “entrepreneurial junkie” in various companies for about 10 years. Before being acquired in 2019, the company completed approximately 850 projects, mainly used in universities, industry and government laboratories by AM Technical Solutions (Greg is now the chief technology officer). She strives to create a safe, practical and beautiful space with plenty of windows and natural light. “People don’t install windows in clean rooms because they say’we don’t want to see industrial scenes’,” Greg said. “But if a clean room does not look beautiful, there is a problem; it is poorly planned or not maintained.”

One of Gregg’s favorite projects brought her back to where she started: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She made preliminary planning and design for the clean room and laboratory of MIT.nano, the new home of MIT’s nanotechnology research. Soon after it opened, she visited the campus during the 45th reunion in 2019. “I stopped to watch the new graduates peek at the building and show off their parents,” she recalled. “That is the most wonderful feeling. That is my legacy.”



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