Mitchell Chaulk

Computer Engineer and Project Manager, Solace Power

I was born/grew up in: Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, Canada

I now live in: St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada

I completed my training/education at: Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the University of New Brunswick

Describe what you do at work.

At my job, we've created a brand new type of wireless power. This could eventually mean that you won't need any cables at all for your TVs, or even your laptops! This is all done through the physics of electricity. I have two important jobs at work: Firstly, I am responsible for writing software that helps control and monitor our systems, making sure that we are actually able to transfer power. Secondly, my job is to make sure our projects finish on time. To do this, I have to try to predict anything that could go wrong. This means that I need to be able to communicate well with others, and have at least a basic understanding of how each part of our system works.

When I was a student I enjoyed:

How does your job affect people’s lives?

At Solace, we are constantly improving our ability to wirelessly send power to electrical devices. This could benefit us in lots of small ways, like never needing to plug in your phone before bed. Instead, maybe just laying your phone on your bedside table would be enough to start charging it! Wireless power is also useful for robots of all kinds. If robots never need to plug in, they never need to stop working! This means that robots can do more of our hard work for us!

What motivates you in your career?

When you understand how much potential a new technology has, it is always rewarding to be part of it. Creating something useful that has never existed before means that you are improving the lives of many people, including yourself! At work, customers from very big and powerful companies are constantly blown away by what we are able to show them. This is always very exciting and motivating for the whole Solace team. We started as a few people from Newfoundland, and have now gotten the attention of companies like Boeing, who make many of the airplanes found all over the world!

When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:

Describe your career path to this career.

I first started university studying computer engineering at Memorial University, which allowed me to take 6 internships. This meant that I could make money while at school, and I also got to travel! I had internships at home, in Newfoundland, but also in Vancouver and Sweden. I was even lucky enough to get a work term with EA Games.

After I finished computer engineering, I decided that I wanted to try more advanced engineering involving the human body. Basically, I wanted to make Luke Skywalker's hand. So I went to the University of New Brunswick to learn about biomedical engineering. At UNB I was able to do my own research, where we used electrical/computer engineering and math to figure out what movements paralyzed patient were trying to do, but couldn't. It was an incredible experience!

While biomedical engineering is still a huge interest of mine, I was offered the opportunity to work on wireless power back home, in Newfoundland. This sounded crazily cool to me. Any time I hear of technology or science that I don't understand, I want to learn more about it. And that's why I now work at Solace! Even though I'm still only a few years into my career, I've already been able to be part of the cutting edge of a few different advancements in science and technology.

What activities do you like to do outside of work?

I like to workout and practice making healthy and delicious food. I've trained in a few different martial arts, but lately I mostly grapple. One of my biggest passions, besides technology and science, is music. I play a lot of guitar!

What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?

In engineering, there are tons of different careers you can end up with. My advice would be to first, figure out what you want to build. Maybe you like robots, computer games, insanely tall buildings, or cars? But most importantly, if you think you like something then learn more about it! The internet is awesome for that.

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