Been-Jon Woo is a congenial figure who appears to prefer her co-workers call her ‘B.J.’ instead of Dr. Woo. She is an immigrant, a wife, a mother of two, and one of the leading engineers in the field of silicon technologies. Dr. Woo, and engineers like her, are the reason we have access to all of the high tech devices that inhabit every corner of our lives. Her career has kept her on the very cutting edge of technologies for more than 20 years. Indeed, her job has been to create and push the cutting edge. From the 1980’s to today, Dr. Woo has not only understood the magic of high tech, she’s created it.
Dr. Woo was raised in Taiwan with traditional Taiwanese family values. After receiving her Bachelors degree from National Taiwan University, she decided to continue her schooling in the US. She earned her PhD in Physical Chemistry at the University of Southern California in the early 80’s. In 1983, Been-Jon got her first engineering job in Process Development with Intel (WITI 2006).
Much of her work over the next 20 years would be done with Intel, resulting in more than 13 patents that helped revolutionize the semiconductor industry (Various 2008). Dr. Woo made her way from that first Process Engineering job to managerial roles, to VP of a Chinese company, to Director of Technology Integration at Intel. Dr. Woo’s career caught the attention of Women In Technology International (WITI), who inducted her into the WITI Hall of Fame in 2006 (WITI 2006).
So how exactly did this Taiwanese immigrant help to revolutionize the technical world as we know it? To explain that, we need to talk just a little bit about that magic mentioned earlier.