"Volunteering to help at ESDA events has been rewarding: you get to work together across company boundaries to a shared goal, meeting new people, learning from each other, seeing different opinions on many topics."
Bart Keppens received a master degree in Electronics Engineering from Groep T, Leuven in 1996. His master thesis, together with his colleague Steven Servaes, titled 'Transmission Line Pulsing (TLP) technique for analyzing ESD reliability', performed at IMEC (under supervision of Koen Verhaege and Christian Russ), received the BARCO-award for best Industrial Engineer thesis in 1996. The outcome was a 500 Ohm, 100ns TLP system to analyze packaged samples. Thanks to Steven's custom relay-in-a-coax design, it had a sub 1ns rise time.
In August 1996 Bart joined IMEC's reliability group, led by Guido Groeseneken, where he supported the 'ESD' and 'Non Volatile Memory' groups in various ways: Creating test chip layout (0.7um BCD, 0.5um, 0.25um, 180nm CMOS), performing electrical characterization and programming control software for the lab equipment. The first TLP system from the 1996 master thesis was continuously improved with new control software, a measurement database and on-wafer analysis possibilities. A second TLP was created in 2000, based on a solid-state pulse generator. Together with ESD experts like Guido, Christian Russ, Karlheinz Bock, Vesselin Vassilev, Vincent De Heyn, and Natarajan Mahadeva Iyer the know-how on TLP construction, usage, and control software led to Bart's first publication at the EOS/ESD Symposium in 2001 in Portland and a panel member job.
In May 2002 Bart joined Sarnoff Europe, Belgium, solving ESD related problems for customers worldwide, first as an ESD engineer, then later as technical leader, ESD design specialist. Since 2006, Bart supports the Business Development initiatives as Technical Director for ESD. In June 2009, Sarnoff Europe became 'SOFICS - Solutions for ICs' where Bart now is Director Technical Marketing.
In total, Bart (co-) authored about 40 peer-reviewed published articles in the field of 'on-chip ESD protection' and 'ESD analysis'. Invited papers on ESD solutions and TLP analysis techniques have been delivered at the RCJ ESD symposium in Japan almost every year since 2006 and on Taiwan ESD's conference since 2009. Bart has been a member of the Technical Program Committee ('TPC') of the EOS/ESD symposium since 2003, and a member of the ESREF TPC in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010. A member of the Taiwan ESD and Reliability conference TPC since 2010. Bart acted as a Workshop Panel member on ESD topics during various conferences (EOS/ESD Symposium and RCJ) and presented invited tutorials at Taiwan ESD and Reliability conference in 2008, 2010, and 2012. Bart holds several on-chip ESD protection design patents.
Bart is married to Saskia and they have two daughters, Hanne (15) and Nienke (13). In his free time, Bart enjoys solving (binary) Sudokus, walking the dog, biking, and more recently running. Building up from no physical fitness and 20kg overweight to a full marathon within one year helped to realize that with dedication, perseverance, and support from family, friends, and colleagues once believed unreachable goals can be met. Thanks to frequent work related travel, Bart can now run at great locations around the world: Across Golden Gate bridge, around Tokyo's imperial palace, below Taiwan's tallest (Taipei 101) building…
Attending EOS/ESD conferences or IEW workshops is always a great experience. The conference is a good opportunity to meet with ESD colleagues from other companies and talk to friends that moved abroad. Many of the tutorials are useful for new hires as well as refresh insights for others. Moreover, for an IP company like Sofics it is extremely important to understand the upcoming problems, new test approaches. Attending the ESDA conferences and workshops is an efficient way to gather that new info. Because the conference is smaller than the giant conferences like IEDM, DAC, IRPS, attendees at EOS/ESD or IEW get to know each other better and get an opportunity to talk to and learn from the experts. Volunteering to help at ESDA events has been rewarding: you get to work together across company boundaries to a shared goal, meeting new people, learning from each other, seeing different opinions on many topics.