My Hallam Story

Susan Allain | Mechanical Engineer

In the summer of 2000, my family moved from the Atlanta area to Massachusetts. I was able to transfer with the Design Build firm I was with which made things very easy for me.  Unfortunately, the dot com bust caused the firm to bankrupt. Things were very slow with the consulting engineering industry and I did not have many Massachusetts contacts, so I was doing occasional small side jobs because no one was hiring. My husband happened to be on a project where Jeff Silcox and he were attending a meeting one day.  Somehow the conversation turned to finding out Jeff could use help on a project he had in Groton, Connecticut for a pharmaceutical company. Of course, my husband told Jeff that I could work for him.  I had no idea who Hallam was, but I had a job with them.

I started in the spring of 2003 by helping to update as built drawings on a part time basis for Pfizer, which worked out well since both my kids were young at the time.  That fall, Hallam got a tool install design contract with Intel in Hudson, Massachusetts.  Next thing I knew, I was learning tool install design, and was working on site with a great group of people from the Burlington and Massachusetts offices. This ended up being quite an interesting job since the whole process of designing a tool install package incorporated many of the mechanical design functions that I already knew. Not only was I doing work that I found to be very enjoyable, but I was also still given flexibility with my work schedule to spend time with my kids when needed. I found that Hallam was giving the perfect work life balance along with the opportunity to learn new skills in engineering.

Unfortunately, the semiconductor industry experienced a downturn a couple of years later. I left Hallam, worked in Boston several years, and then moved to Malta, New York to work on the biggest semiconductor project in the country at the time. I ran into former Hallam co-workers from time to time at the site and when asked how did I knew them (because “those folks are from Vermont”), I would tell everyone I had worked for Hallam before and what a good company it was.  Fortunately, over 10 years after leaving Hallam, I received a phone call from Keith Flaherty asking if I would be interested talking with them about a position that was open in the New York office and I did not hesitate to say yes. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work for such a wonderful company again.


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