ENTREPRENEURSHIP SEASONED CHIP DESIGNER AND HIGHTECH ENTREPRENEUR
He runs chip manufacturer AnSem in Enschede. He teaches workshops about emotional strength development. He visualises technology with his artwork. Alumnus Clemens Mensink about personal development, looking ahead and making sculptures.
BY Wiebe van der Veen PHOTOGRAPHY Eric Brinkhorst
SWITCHING BETWEEN SKILLS At AnSem, located at Kennispark Twente, around fifteen people work hard on the development of chips. “If I could, I would hire ten more,” Clemens Mensink says. Good designers are hard to find. That explains why he pushed so hard to get the Leuven-based company to open a new location in Twente a few years ago. It is located at walking distance from UT professor Bram Nauta’s Integrated Circuit Design department and therefore close to that scarce talent. “To find good chip designers, you have to go to Twente or Leuven,” Mensink says. “Everyone else is lagging behind.”
Dynamic world AnSem is a so-called “fabless design house:” an agency that designs chips, but does not produce them. Its designers are working
been taken over by the American organisation Teledyne DALSA, al though it is still based in Enschede. The region is now home to several of such design agencies. Mensink has either worked there himself or he is intimately familiar with them: “It is like a big family.”
Sharing one’s vision In the evening, we encounter Clemens on campus in the Vrijhof. He is teaching a workshop on ESD. Has he returned to the world of technology? Doesn’t ESD stands for “electrostatic discharge,” like what happens when you take off a wool sweater? The kind of discharge that can be very harmful to a chip? No, the workshop is about “Emotional Strength Development.” That is curious to say the least for such an experienced chip designer