Matt Karakilic (BSc – Interactive Arts and Technology, 2011) is the Global R&D User Experience Director at Hitachi Energy.

Alumni Feature: Meet Matt Karakilic

October 13, 2022

SFU Degree(s): Bachelor of Science - Major in Interactive Arts and Technology, 2011

My name is Matt and I am originally from Turkey. I started my studies at SFU in 2005 and graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Interactive Arts and Technology. I am currently in charge of the governance and execution of User Experience (UX) initiatives in the R&D organization at Hitachi Energy. In this role I’m fortunate to work with an exceptional international UX team, including members across Asia and Europe. As a result, I have the additional benefit of learning insights from this team well beyond my local culture and life experience. One of the teams I inherited and currently grow is based in India. Thanks to my co-op experience at SFU, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to live in India for almost a year. From this experience, there was really no culture shock when I had the privilege to supervise this phenomenal team.

Matt Karakilic (center) with volunteers at the 2021 UXPA International Conference.

I must give thanks to my co-op advisor at the time—who is also now my good friend—Nav Chima. Nav has changed my life beyond my wildest imagination. In fact, since that experience, there’s been a yearning goal within me to one day return the favour back to SFU, by way of providing internship opportunities to its students! Thanks to my current position, and the size of the company, my long-term goal is finally realized.

I love helping others, and I breathe UX. You can always find me in UXPA conferences where I work with volunteers to give back to our UX community. If you are reading this feel free to reach out to me via Linkedin or book a mentoring session with me via ADPList, and be assured, I'll do my best to help you. And as always, YOU got this!

What advice do you have for SFU students going through their degree? 

Do not miss internship opportunities. Whether it is required or not, have an internship. Delay your studies if needed but at least attend one term of internship to gain work experience, learn different cultures, and many more things internship will offer to you in your journey.

Connect with Matt on LinkedIn.

Our alumni go on to engage their community in a variety of ways. Read more alumni stories here.