Meet Sami: Visidon’s R&D Engineer

18 Jan 2022

When one career is not enough, and on the importance of the connections

‘Sometimes we do know what to do, sometimes up to the point that we make poor life choices. What an inspiring beginning!’

In my earlier life, I studied an advanced degree in analytical chemistry at the University of Helsinki. Despite the years I spent studying wonders of capillary electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, finding a decent job on the field turned out to be a challenge! The connections outside the academic world were quite limited.

After several odd jobs as a freelance researcher and a school science substitute teacher, it became clear that I should find something else. The analytical chemistry had given a chance to write some small programs for signal collection and analysis. I even had tinkered a bit with a soldering iron and simple circuits. It was nice to see results almost immediately and thus, I had decided to study a second degree in computer science. This path started in Lappeenranta University of Technology – today that is called something else, I think.

After few years, my personal life threw me in to Oulu and I continued my studies there. I signed up for a master thesis work at the University and was contacted by one of the Visidon founders, who was acting as a part-time professor at the time. Apparently, I did something properly, since the discussion turned into my willingness to do also a doctoral degree. This time I got a second supervisor, who turned out to have connection with Visidon too. While I was oblivious about the connection, they became apparent in the later stages of my Ph.D. thesis work.

I got a position in a graduate school and was able to take some side steps from my main topic, micro-lens array imaging, and broaden my views on other challenges on computational photography. It is difficult to say if this was a blessing or not! My supervisors urged me to finish my main project. While having troubles to find final motivation to finish the writing, one or both of my supervisors suggested to visit Visidon, which was then a fairly small imaging software company, and see if there would be need for me.

Finally, I ended up working full time at “VD” while wrapping up my thesis in the evenings, which I finally did 2016. At this point, I had already been working at VD learning our first steps of AI, followed soon by some stereo imaging projects.

“I would say Visidon has a very supportive working atmosphere which pushes us to do our job properly. My most favorite activity here is to play pool during breaks with my colleagues and have interesting discussions.”

The last years, I have been involved with many projects, more focused on conventional computational imaging leaving the CNN related wonders to the newcomers. Most of the interesting projects I have been involved are related to multi-frame data fusion aiming for image quality improvement. The goal in computational imaging is to break the limitations set by available hardware. For example, near infrared camera can capture details that are not visible with typical color camera and fusion of data can improve details in output images. In addition to R&D, I have taken part in integrating tech in products and customer support.

“The goal in computational imaging is to break the limitations set by available hardware.”

We have been also growing “a bit” and as new people are coming to company, we older geeks spend some of our time also guiding and helping the new staff to get grip of some of the tech. While it is always rewarding to see some code ending up in consumer devices, it is maybe even more rewarding to be able to help co-workers to achieve the same. The working atmosphere we have is supportive and it is easy to find interesting discussions with the colleagues.


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