Namsakhi Kumar 

BASc '23

What was a highlight or favourite moment from your time at SFU?
One of my favorite moments was my time spent on the capstone project. I worked closely with my friends who have computer and electrical engineering backgrounds for eight months, supporting each other day and night. During that time, I not only got the opportunity to develop my skills but also learned a lot from them, as they helped me expand my skills beyond the field of biomedical engineering. I tried several features for the first time. Although we decided to drop some features after struggling with them for the first four months, we managed to effectively modify our plan and deliver a fully functional product by the deadline. It was one of the moments that I realized that ideas become successful when shared with multiple minds.

How has your experience at SFU prepared you for your career path?
Through various projects and co-ops, I have gained experience and enjoyed exploring the relationship between integrating software, AI, and medical technology. My co-op at Microchip Technology boosted my interest and knowledge in low-power register-transfer level (RTL) design techniques. Additionally, my co-op experience as a Research Assistant for SFU’s Image Tech Lab, which is located at Surrey Memorial Hospital, and my participation in a brain-computer interface hackathon allowed me to work with advanced EEG headsets. These experiences have allowed me to explore research areas related to the brain, medical imaging, machine learning, and computational modeling. I am fortunate that these co-op positions and projects have equipped me with many technical skills and a broad perspective that extends beyond the biomedical field.

What advice would you like to share to students in their first year?
It may sound a bit philosophical but based on my personal experience, I strongly advise all first-year students not to give up just because you are finding it hard or because you received a C grade in any course. Especially don't give up because you think others around you are smarter and you’ll never be smart enough. I never imagined that someone like me, who struggled with programming and physics courses in the first year while also carrying the burden of a part-time job, would eventually succeed in passing my thesis with distinction in my final year.  This unexpected accomplishment is proof that my persistent questioning and belief in myself paid off. I constantly wondered, "If others can do it, why can't I?"

What are your current plans?
After graduation, I will be starting a full-time role as a Design Engineer I at Microchip Technology. I will be working on the implementation of low power design techniques and testbench development for the groundbreaking High-Performance Spaceflight Computing (HPSC) project associated with NASA's (National Aeronautics and Space Admiration) Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I am grateful for the chance to work on such a project and excited for new challenges.