Day: 10 June 2020
Our research changes the world and leads to important discoveries
If the words of Jaroslav Kadlec, a FIT graduate are anything to go by, microscopy is a fascinating discipline. Kadlec works as software manager for Thermo Fisher Scientific, one of the world leading producers of electron microscopes, where he is in charge of development of both talented people as well as new technologies.
What is the role of IT specialists in the development of a microscope?
Modern electron microscopes are extremely complex and their development would not be even possible without the use of software solutions. A large number of developers participates in the development of new modules or new SW functionality. They are in charge of software architecture design, as well as prototyping, implementation and modernisation of the technology used. Development of SW involves various other areas from communication with HW modules to the design of application user interface. People often assume that this work mainly focuses on the development of firmware, but that is incorrect; in fact, 99% of our work consists of application development.
Why are you interested in microscopy in particular?
Microscopes are fascinating. I had no idea about all the things involved in microscopy. They are not used for just viewing things, they can create, build, machine and even print products. They are used in all areas and play a key role in all major scientific discoveries as well as in ordinary industry production. Our microscopes are used in the research focusing on the ZIKA and HIV viruses, they are enabling the development of new materials, as well as miniaturisation of modern mobile phones. We can see that our research changes the world and leads to important discoveries. That is a huge motivation for me as well as for my colleagues.
You work as a software manager. What exactly do you do in your job?
My role is quite versatile. I lead a team of people who work on different software solutions and I am trying to help them grow and improve and to overcome any and all problems that occur or may occur. It is not just about supporting their work, but also about their professional development and education. I am also in charge of technical solution of several projects. We are currently working on the development of a new generation of the Scios microscopes. This is a mid-range microscope that is being frequently used in material sciences and in companies developing and producing semiconductor components. And finally, what is especially important to me is that I am still involved in the SW development and I am actively programming.
What do you use in your job from what you learned during your studies?
I learned a lot in my doctoral studies. First, I am grateful to the great team at the Department of Computer Graphics and Multimedia, I learned a lot from them. Then there is teaching and being in contact with students - there is a difference in thinking when you are learning or doing something yourself and when you are supposed to pass your knowledge to others. Both these experiences taught me lessons I am still benefitting from today.
You still often work with students. Why do you find co-operation with universities so important?
In SW development, we need skilled people who like to learn new stuff and think. At FIT, there is plenty of such people we can choose from. Students working at our company can learn a lot and get their hands on some truly advanced technology. The downside, at least for some, is that this process takes some time; it takes months to really understand how these microscopes function. In my team, students work on software development as part of some quite difficult tasks.
So what qualities are important for people working in your field?
When I am meeting people for job interviews, I always prefer people with a great deal of interest and enthusiasm. It is often even more important than the fact that they can apply perfectly a skill they were developing for past X years. We are looking for people who want to grow and learn.
And in what areas do you yourself need to "grow" and learn?
Every day brings many challenges and interesting moments and I try to deal with them as best as I can. So I am in fact learning new stuff or learning from my previous mistakes every day. I really enjoy trying out new technologies and helping people grow. Technology is a vast area and it is a lot of hard work to keep oneself in the loop with the latest developments. And seeing the advancement and growth of people I can influence is also a great joy. And I can, in turn, learn something new from them.
Author: Kozubová Hana, Mgr.
Last modified: 2021-02-11T14:29:10