Aidan Fyans

MSc Computer Science, R&D Engineer, VortexloT

What I enjoyed about the MSc course and studying environment at Swansea University was the free thinking environment where we are encouraged by the lecturers to face new problems and approach them from any angle. It didn’t matter what area of Computer Science you were interested in or needed advice in, there is someone in the department who could point you in the right direction.

I currently work for VortexIot as an R&D Engineer, where I  began work September 2018 as soon as I had completed my Master’ thesis. At VortexIoT we design and develop innovative products and IoT systems for harsh environments. Our current work is in developing air quality monitoring systems and railway intrusion and obstruction detection systems. These systems are designed and built in house from the ground up by the R&D and Software team. As well as hardware, we design web interfaces and data management and analysis systems to gain further insight into what our sensor networks are detecting. This is done through our machine learning and AI systems which are all developed in house.

I am enjoying the wide range of challenges and problems which we face in developing new products. The Directors often bring problems to us from clients who cannot find an existing product that is fit for purpose. We then have to quickly find a solution to the problem and develop a rough prototype or proof of concept. Problem solving in this way with no boundaries where you must draw on all areas of your experience has always been what I enjoy.

During my Master’s I focused on ‘Hardware and Devices’ and ‘Embedded Systems’ modules which gave me an opportunity to work at the boundary of where the physical meets the digital. This lead me to conduct my research for my thesis in mesh networking. These skills helped me to secure a job in developing embedded systems and working around the growing world of IoT systems. 

The Computer Science department is full of very knowledgeable people with contacts and interests in many areas. As a student of the department you have access to this vast pool of knowledge. I would encourage students to take advantage of this. Being at university is not just about getting a qualification. Talk to your peers and lecturers about more than computer science, use the time you have to explore interests that make you a more rounded individual. Your degree /  qualifications will get you an interview but your surrounding knowledge and interests will secure you the job.