Interview with Thomas, Engineering Intern

3 August 2021

At NEOZ, we have a strong focus on Nurturing Future Talent, and have embedded into our company a culture moving strongly towards social consciousness and bringing an awareness of social issues that impact our society, and how we at a business level can have an impact for the better. 

This starts with ensuring young talent entering our industry have a mind that is also aligned and is guided by social consciousness, and we are proud to nurture the up and coming talent through internships here at NEOZ. Read the latest interview with our recent intern, Thomas Vaux. 

What attracted you to the field of electronics? 

I’ve always been the kind of person who enjoys the process of making or producing something, especially technology. Whether it’s robotics or software. 

What are you currently studying? 

I am studying Electronics Engineering at UTS – I’m in my fourth year, majoring in loT systems and devices. 

What made you choose NEOZ for your internship? 

I am very interested in the nature of the work undertaken by NEOZ, it’s a very innovative company and was excited by the opportunity to work with a collaborative team on developing lighting systems that utilise embedded systems and BLE technology. Also, I have found at NEOZ they are not just taking you through the process within a company. You are going into an engineering position and what you do has an impact. 

What part of your job at NEOZ do you find most interesting? 

I’ve really enjoyed – with the help of my supervisor – developing my own product. I’ve been able to experiment with different tools and I’m learning different aspects of the development process. 

Who is your Mentor at NEOZ? 

Aquib Fateh, Senior Embedded Systems Engineer here at NEOZ. With his guidance, I’m helping develop the new automated testing system for the cordless lamps before they go into production. 

What is the most memorable advice your mentor has given you whilst you’ve been at NEOZ, and what will be relevant for your entire career or your life goals?  

I think one of the things that have been reinforced for me by Aquib is the importance of just always keeping an eye on what’s going on in our industry and assessing where technology is going.  It changes very quickly. He also demonstrated the importance of strong leadership through his ability to come up with incredibly innovative solutions while staying true to the project outcomes.  

What has been the most challenging task that you’ve been assigned? 

There’s been a lot of little challenges throughout the entire process – as you would expect – it’s engineering. The latest challenge would be the implementation of using new chips. It has been a learning curve. The technology we are developing is groundbreaking and will be a first to market within this industry. 

At the moment, I’m going through the process of learning how to use and test the individual hardware pieces that we’re intending to use on the testing system and trying to figure out how they actually work and how to implement them within the system we’re intending to implement. That’s been a bit interesting. 

Earlier in the Internship, I also found some of the implementation of the fundamental testing system, which involved collecting data directly from boards, a little challenging. That process really emphasised the importance of building software in a modular manner, which was a bit of a process but has since enabled new systems to be built on top of these now functional fundamental components. that I was implementing earlier in the internship around just being able to collect data directly for boards, to be able to determine and run battery life tests. That was a bit like building. Just constantly building on top of things. That was a bit of a process as well. 

How does your work in the internship impact NEOZ overall? 

The systems we’re developing are next-generation hardware… basically we’ll be able to do a lot more testing on the hardware before it gets shipped out so that it improves the reliability of devices for end consumers. I really learnt the importance of developing products that are customer and user-focused. The new boards also have quite a few new features. So it allows us to make sure all of those are working beyond basic functionality. 

What are some of the things you’ve learned from your mentor at NEOZ since starting in February? 

My learnings have been incredible. From his vast experience, I’ve learned about not just the crucial development processes but also how to take a product to market beyond doing the basic high-level design work. 

Is the design work the easy part

In my opinion, yes. There is the high-level design of “this is what we want to do”, I would say that is the easy part. The harder part is creating stability, so the product works and stays working.  

Now that you’ve spent a bit of time at NEOZ, how has the internship changed your view of what you want to do in the future? 

It’s given me the experience to understand how I could actually go about achieving my goals. I now understand to a much greater extent go through the process of developing electronics, hardware and software for the end product. This has been a very expansive as previously I was more experienced in just doing software. 

So looking to the future now, and with the experience, you’ve gained at NEOZ, what are your career aspirations? What are your goals? What do you want to achieve in the industry or beyond that. End game? 

I want to take this experience and use it for developing my own hardware and products. I want to create products and technology that deliver a big, positive impact. From this time at NEOZ, I am now confident I can turn any new ideas I have into reality. 

Thank you, Thomas. I really enjoyed our chat. It’s very exciting to see the up and coming generation of electrical engineering

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