Baptiste Arnou – MSc Robotics graduate


Baptiste tells us how he’s ended up working for Smart Me Up, a French start-up company, as an optimisation software engineer

“Good placements are very important and can reveal unexpected career paths.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

After graduating I went back to France and ended up working for MBDA to study the use of GPUs in image processing algorithms. After that I worked for the CEA, a French research organization, where I benchmarked embedded platforms in a parallel processing context. And, since a few weeks ago, I have started work for Smart Me Up which is a French start-up where my goal is to optimise a lot of things which are related to image processing.

Has your career path changed since graduation?

It didn’t change that much. Since my first experience as an intern, I learnt parallel programming and optimisation which is really something I like and I try to stay in this area. I think that I have managed to do it for now despite having to change jobs, company, and town, but I don’t see it as an issue.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

My first company hired me to be a consultant. It started well for several months but then my mission ended and I spent five months without any interesting mission, which made me leave the career path I wanted to follow. These months were hard as I questioned myself a lot, either to stay or leave. I decided to leave the company and find a new job, which has worked out for the best!

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

I don’t have anything special to say here. I always try to find a good working environment every time I look for a job. I have it right now and I had it before. If you manage to find a workplace where you work alongside friendly colleagues, you have fun every day!

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

Learn by yourself, be interested in what’s going on, and ask questions of people with whom you work. Also, be proactive and know the system on which you programme.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

Studying at Plymouth gave me confidence as I found that I could learn new things by myself. It also made me like the way in which research supports work, and this in turn has helped to work at the CEA and now at Smart Me Up.

Did you undertake a placement during your degree and if so, how did this benefit you?

My placement had to be done at an engineering school in France. I did it in MBDA, where I studied the use of GPUs in image processing algorithms which was my first experience in parallel programming. At the time, I didn’t know anything; but I liked it, and I learnt a lot by myself and I decided to stay in this area. Good placements are very important and can reveal unexpected career paths.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

Plymouth is perfect if you like living near the sea and in an area that is very nice to visit, meeting people from everywhere in Europe (and sometimes further afield), and discovering a new way of learning and working.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with the University, and why?

I had a very good time at the University, even though I only spent one year there for the second year of the MSc Robotics. I think the courses were really relevant. In my memories, they were more focused on robotic algorithms and there are a lot of activities (robotic club, robotic competitions) related to the robotic field that should interest anybody who wants to study in this area.

“Robotics is a field that is always in development and incorporates electronics and computing, both of which I had studied for my first degree in France. My French school has a partnership with many universities, including Plymouth. However, I chose Plymouth University because it is renowned for its robotics. Moreover, previous ESEO students who have been to Plymouth said it was a very nice place to live.

We were a small group of 20 students and this was a big advantage to learning efficiently and having good vibes between us. I found the best things about Plymouth were the environment – the sea and area around, and the weather – and the ambience – the students, the pubs and the clubs.”

Baptiste Arnou

Find out more about postgraduate study at the University of Plymouth here

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