Intel is committed to caring for our people and the planet by integrating design for the environment and safety principles into all aspects of our business; from the development of our products, through our supply chain and manufacturing.
The Intel campus in Leixlip is home to facilities where we manufacture computer chips. The process of making computer chips is called fabrication and the factories where chips are made are called fabrication facilities, or ‘fabs’. Intel’s fabs are amongst the most technically advanced manufacturing facilities in the world. We use a photolithographic “printing” process to build a chip layer by layer on circular discs or ‘wafers’ made of silicon. Many layers are deposited across the wafer and then removed in small areas to create transistors and interconnects. The stages involved in creating these layers rely largely on chemical and electronic processes. Our manufacturing operations are underpinned by rigorous environmental management systems to protect the environment.
Central to these systems is our Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) team who oversee all aspects of safety and environmental management at our campus here in Leixlip. From compliance with licences and regulations to innovative programs that provide safeguards for the workplace and the wider community, the team have an uncompromising commitment to safety and environmental excellence.
The EHS team includes a number of environmental engineers who have a variety of responsibilities at the campus. Throughout this series we have been meeting some of these engineers to find out more about their roles at Intel. In this latest instalment we caught up with Alessandro Guerriero. Alessandro (Alex) is originally from Rome in Italy and moved to Ireland in 2015, where he is now settled in Balbriggan. He completed Bachelors and Masters degrees in Environmental Engineering at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and continued his education in Ireland obtaining a further degree in Data Analytics at NCI. Alessandro gained professional experience in the environmental field both in Italy and Ireland before joining the Intel EHS team in late 2019.
Alex explains his role in the management of noise at the Leixlip campus as a program owner.
“Within our site environmental management system, we have an established noise program onsite which I am responsible for. This program involves the management and control of noise emissions to ensure that they are within the limits set in our Industrial Emissions Licence which is granted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
As part of our licence, we are required to ensure that noise levels at sensitive locations off-site are maintained below prescribed limits.
The control of noise is a key aspect of our environmental management system as noise, if not properly controlled, can be a source of annoyance to our near neighbours. We work closely with the site Public Affairs team to engage with neighbours on a regular basis to understand any emerging environmental concerns. We endeavour to ensure that noise is not an issue by promptly addressing any noise issues that may emerge.
As a manufacturing site which operates 24 hours per day, the nature of what we do means that there will always be some degree of noise and, for this reason, the control of noise begins at the design stage, where we ensure that the equipment selected has low noise generation potential and noise sources are suitably attenuated where necessary. Acoustic attenuation measures include such things as sound barriers and enclosures which are designed to inhibit propagation of noise off-site.
Once installations are operational, we work closely together with the various system owners so that they can better understand the potential noise impacts associated with their equipment. We have implemented procedures to ensure that the proper noise controls are in place and, to assist with this, we regularly monitor noise levels to anticipate any excursions from the expected noise levels.
One of the most interesting aspects of managing the noise program is the interpretation of noise monitoring data. We use the latest monitoring technologies to collect noise data and this allows us to identify possible sources of noise and to be able to distinguish between noise generated by our site and by external noise sources such as traffic on local roads, aircraft movement etc. The equipment also allows us to understand what meteorological factors affect the propagation of noise.
We also work together with external experts to model the noise emissions generated from the Intel Installation in order to ensure that there are no significant changes in the noise climate.
Another interesting aspect of my job is where I am involved in the investigation of noise concerns which are raised by people on-site or off-site. We have an established process for such investigations, and we strive to identify the source of the noise whether this is from our operations or external factors. A complicating factor is that on a large and busy site such as ours where multiple projects can be underway simultaneously, the noise “climate” can be quite dynamic. In addition, what makes the investigation more challenging is that the perception of noise by each individual can be very subjective and personal and I must use my knowledge of how noise is generated, propagated and perceived in order to carry out a thorough investigation.
I am proud of the fact that, as the environmental engineer responsible for the management of noise, I get to use a proactive approach and work with other engineers on site to ensure that there is increased awareness of our site operations. When we embark on new projects, we ensure that noise is taken into account as a critical parameter through preliminary modelling and analysis ensuring appropriate controls are always in place”.
Check out the other installments of our Environmental Health and Safety series;
Part 1 – Michael Cullen explains the role of the Environmental Health and Safety team
Part 2 – Kevin Moloney explains the management of water systems at Intel
Part 3 – Ronan Kearney on the management of air emissions at the Intel campus
Additional information about Intel is available at:
Web – intel.ie | Twitter – @Intel_IRL | Facebook – Intel Ireland
Media contact: Sarah Sexton | firstname.lastname@example.org | + 353 1 606 8537