WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL WORKDAY LIKE?
We’re a small company, so we all do all kinds of work, but mostly I work with development, management and handling of different projects. Which means that I both talk with customers, but also develop some of the parts we need for our solutions.
My PhD was about ‘computer vision’, which basically means that you connect a camera with a computer and try to get the computer to “understand” what it is seeing. An example could be intelligent cars. Here at Inropa we work with robot systems, so basically I make the software for the computer vision to make our robots paint given objects.
WHAT HAS YOUR CAREER PATH LOOKED LIKE UP UNTIL NOW?
I did my PhD from 2012-2015 and afterwards I worked as a postdoc at AAU for a year. After my PhD I knew that I wanted to try to work in the corporate world. I actually felt that I owed myself to try to work in the corporate world, to better be able to determine whether I wanted to pursue a career in academia or the industry.
In my postdoc I finalized some PhD research, and worked as sort of a computer vision consultant for organizations and companies who would contact AAU with computer vision related questions. Before finding a job, I went to Africa for half a year. I was so fortunate that I received three different job offers but chose Inropa.
HOW CLOSE IS YOUR CURRENT CAREER TO THE IDEAS AND DREAMS YOU HAD AS A PHD FELLOW AT AAU?
It is pretty close to what I imagined. I didn’t choose to do a PhD because I wanted to enhance my chances on the job market or because I wanted to get a big salary, but mostly because I found the topic and the research interesting.
HOW HAVE YOU MADE USE OF YOUR PHD EDUCATION, AND WHICH OF YOUR PHD COMPETENCES HAVE BEEN MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?
I would say two things:
- The topic I focused on during my PhD I use in my work today. That is also the reason that I chose to work at Inropa; here I am able to work with computer vision, which is a rare possibility at companies here in Northern Jutland.
- The second thing is my ability to manage and handle projects. During my PhD and postdoc I did lots of self-contained projects in collaboration with other companies and organizations. This is the same as what I do at Inropa today.
WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER MOST FROM YOUR PHD STUDIES?
That is a good question. As a PhD you are obliged to read and write many articles. So I must say that the recurring motif must be articles.
Besides that, I would also point out my six month research stay in San Diego, which was a part of my PhD, as a good memory.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY FROM AAU?
My two studies abroad in San Diego – one during my master and one during my PhD studies. Both times it was a really good experience.
IS THERE A TEACHER/COLLEAGUE FROM AAU YOU REMEMBER ESPECIALLY, AND WHY?
My supervisor Thomas B. Moeslund. He was my supervisor for both my thesis and PhD.
I really liked our collaboration and he was very inspiring, as well as open to my inputs.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO DO A PHD, AND WOULD YOU HAVE CHOSEN DIFFERENTLY IF YOU WERE TO DO IT TODAY?
For the first four years of my studies on AAU, I was absolutely certain that I would never do a PhD. However, during my stay in San Diego during my master I was treated the same way as their own PhD-students. They expected of you that you did some original research and wrote articles which had to be published.
I managed to do pretty well in San Diego and thought it was both exciting and fun. When I returned from my semesters abroad, my supervisor, Thomas, asked me if I wanted to do a PhD at AAU. I was very flattered and accepted the offer.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO CURRENT PHD FELLOWS AT AAU THAT WANT A CAREER OUTSIDE ACADEMIA?
As a software engineer, it is pretty easy to get a job outside academia, so I haven’t given it that much thought. But I would say that it is an advantage if your research is easily applicable “in the real world”.
The research I did was very hand-on and practical, and I knew that companies outside the university do research within the same field. So I think it is important that you do something which is in touch with reality and can be applied outside of the university.
I know that not all PhDs can be like mine, but it is important that you as a PhD are able to turn your knowledge into something companies or other stake holders can make use of.
WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE?
I think it is fun to make software, but I also think it could be interesting to work more with the management part of a company. Given that we are only seven employees at Inropa, we do not have big project groups who need to be managed, but in the short and long term I hope that the company will grow, I hope to grow with it and get more and more responsibility.
About Andreas Møgelmose
Place of birth: Aalborg, Denmark
Current employment: Software developer at Inropa
MA programme and university: Vision, Graphics, and Interactive Systems, Aalborg University
Department at AAU: Department of Medialogy
Year of graduation: 2015
Title of PhD dissertation: Visual Analysis in Traffic & Re-identification
This portrait is made on the basis of an interview, and it is made in collaboration with Science for Society, an interreg project which focuses on PhD careers outside of academia.