From Team Projects Conference to a job in Thaumatec

Personal development of employees is a very important value for our company. Last summer, two of our new employees wrote a beautiful story – from being a part of the university project sponsored by Thaumatec, to a contract with our company – everything in 4 months. We are preparing some new internship offers (also for non-IT people), so stay tuned -maybe you will become our next internships star?

First time we met Arek and Piotr in February when we decided to sponsor (again) Team Projects Conference on Politechnika Wrocławska. Today, 4 months after this, we asked them a few questions about their story and Thaumatec experiences.

What was your first contact with Thaumatec?

In our University of Science and Technology, each student is obligated to pass the course called “Team engineering projects”. Students have to prepare a working project of software or hardware. From the very beginning, we wanted to realize some serious project – that’s why we decided to choose a complicated hardware project recommended for a team of 4-5 people.

In the beginning, we were a bit scared, but we treated it as a challenge. Our course coordinator was Maciej Nikodem, one of the Thaumatec partners. He showed us the list of possible projects and we decided to create a mobile LoRa gateway – mostly because the IoT industry is growing very fast, and this project could give our careers a rocket start. The huge community of LoRa network was also an advantage. It was definitely a challenge for us because before the project, we didn’t work with wireless communication before, just Arek did some small projects in the past.

Tell us something about your project:

We were very surprised by how professional it was – we had weekly reviews, sprints etc. The idea was to design a mobile LoRa Gateway – weatherproof and without a necessary source of power. We see a niche on the market for LoRa gateway possible to use everywhere – for example, to manage crops or animals.

The device is based on Raspberry Pi – we added solar panel, battery, charging controller. In the same time, we were working on the web app to manage the gateway from the browser. Also, solutions on the market were quite expensive, so we decided to build the protecting construction with our hands. We think that LoRaMIG is quite unique – we saw similar constructions but most of them needed a separate source of power.

During our work, we experienced a few problems but we solved all of them. The biggest one was with the converter used to communication with the solar panel. We couldn’t find the one who is working properly with Raspberry Pi. We tested a few of them (even industrial ones) + few kernels. In the end, we found the good one, which is not using too much energy.

What happened to your project later?

At the end of Team Projects Conference was a contest for the best projects – we won it in the hardware category! Next, we had to finish our Internships (obligatory for every student) and we wanted to continue our work on LoRaMIG with the support of Thaumatec. We were very happy that the company agreed to that.

During our internship we were developing our LoRaMIG device, learning more about LoRa and wireless communication law in Poland. Also, we were testing the range of LoRaMIG and some sensors for other LoRa based projects – we have to say that those tests were very promising.

And then you got the job offer in the company?

Yes, after internship we received an offer to stay in the company and…here we are. We are working now on the new internal project.

What’s good about working in Thaumatec?

We always have a huge technical support from all employees – if we needed knowledge or some devices – it is never a problem. Thaumatec have a huge team and we can learn a lot from our friends. We very like a good atmosphere in the office – almost like in a family. As a company we are developing many interesting projects, they are changing quite often so always there is a new challenge on the horizon.

What plans do you have for the future?

We are still studying. Thaumatec has an office very close to Politechnika so it’s comfortable for us to combine studies with a job. We are currently on the last semester of engineer studies and we have a plan to continue them with the master’s degree.

Arek: I’m doing my engineer project based on the cooperation with Thaumatec – it will be a LoRA based sensor platform.
Piotr: I’m doing a project of the platform to manage LoRa gateways.