Pedram Ataee, Machine Learning Engineer
Machine Learning Engineer, Thalmic Labs
Pedram is an engineering mastermind who one day made a bold decision to leave his settled life in Vancouver to pursue a job in a hot tech startup in the Kitchener/Waterloo area - Thalmic Labs.
“My life was set in Vancouver – I had my own place, my car, my friends – but I always knew I had to chase new and exciting opportunities. My life completely changed in just three weeks after moving to Thalmic Labs, a company that is revolutionizing the field of wearable tech,” Pedram says.
Why did he pick engineering and decided to make the move? Read on and get inspired by Pedram’s career journey.
Seeing the Real World Applications of Math
Pedram’s fascination with math began in high school, when he saw how it could be applied to the real world. “When you think about everything we use in our daily lives - from a simple Google search to virtually any tech device – it’s the mathematical algorithms that run all of these things,” Pedram says.
Because of that initial spark of interest, Pedram decided to go down the engineering path, as that’s where he saw the most opportunity to apply his mathematical knowledge to solve real world problems.
“Many people dismiss math as difficult or boring, but here’s a way to make it really exciting: ask your teacher about the purpose of each formula and how it can be used in the real world,” Pedram says.
In his academic career, Pedram took a step-by-step approach to find the part of engineering he liked the most. After completing a bachelor degree in electrical engineering, he did a master’s in biomedical engineering and then finished off his education with a Ph.D. in cardiovascular engineering from the University of British Columbia.
Pedram’s Career Path in Engineering
While completing his doctorate degree, Pedram worked as a research assistant at UBC where he put all his skills in action and worked on intelligence systems that help doctors develop treatments for chronic hypertension and diseases generating problems in blood pressure, making his work a huge contribution to the medical field.
At UBC, Pedram got involved in an entrepreneurship program where he had to prepare a presentation about a successful start-up organization. Luckily, he chose Thalmic Labs, and got so excited about the company’s impact on the field of wearable tech that he contacted the founders and quickly became part of the team.
Amazing Work at Thalmic Labs
Today, Pedram works on MYO – a revolutionary armband device that lets users wirelessly control their computer, phone or any other digital device through arm gestures. As a machine learning engineer, Pedram develops novel techniques for taking the data from our body’s signals and teaching the device to recognize each gesture and perform a specific function. See exactly how MYO works in the video below:
Two years ago, Pedram wouldn’t be able to imagine being part of such a fast-paced and innovative company, but he gets the extra kick out of not knowing what the next six months will look like.
“I get the most satisfaction when I can use all of my knowledge, experience and passion all at once - and the tech industry is perfect for that – you’ll never be bored and will always feel like you’re using all of your potential,” Pedram says.
The Best Advice for Finding Your Passion
“Pick a person who is already established in a certain industry and look at their career path. Then ask yourself: is this the life I want to live? Doing that will save you lots of valuable time and money and will enlighten your path in life.”
- CareerMash Blog: “Calling all creative minds to fill our shortage of engineers”
- CBC article: “Thalmic Labs armband a Canadian-made wearable device”
- See how you can get involved in National Engineering Month – Canada’s biggest celebration of engineering