'My degree gave me a strong foundation on which to build my career upon...'
PhD in Computer Science
Software Engineering Manager, Verizon Connect
‘I have had the opportunity to help develop some of the world’s most cutting-edge algorithms in our field, and that has been very challenging and satisfying,’ Ray says of his career so far at Verizon Connect.
Ray first began at Verizon as a software engineer following his PhD studies, before moving up to the role of Manager for their Software Engineering team.
‘Together with my team of 15 people, I am trying to create the world’s best commercial vehicle routing software. Our software optimises the plans for fleets of vehicles and help companies become more efficient,’ he says.
First discovering Software Engineering as a child with some simple programming on the classroom computer, Ray has since taken his passion across his studies and career.
He began his formal education at Lincoln University, with double degree studies in Applied Computing and Business Management. He then went on to pursue a PhD in Computer Science at UC, with support from a UC Doctoral Scholarship.
His research thesis involved creating a standard deviation ridge algorithm that can better detect boundaries, or edges, in images over other industry programmes. The algorithm is able to ignore unimportant edges in an image, such as individual hairs, and emphasise the important edges, such as the outline of a person’s face, more accurately and in real-time.
‘My degree gave me a strong foundation on which to build my career upon. Even something as specific as Computer Science has a vast range of topics to cover within it, and learning to navigate that landscape has given me hooks in which to place new knowledge and understand how it fits in the bigger picture.’
One of his other favourite aspects of studying at UC was the community, and Ray spent much of his spare time participating in UCanDance events. The student club helped inspire his passion for making music, and Ray now dabbles in songwriting along with playing the piano and guitar.
‘I met a lot of friends through here,’ he says. ‘I always loved the end of term parties and the Hanmer trip in the middle of the year.’
Developing this new interest follows his advice about studying Software Engineering to other students.
‘Learn by doing,’ he says. ‘Learning programming is like riding a bike, someone could explain all the theory of Newtonian mechanics to you, but ultimately the only way to learn is to do it.’
He hopes his career will ‘improve the lives of many’ as he continues to develop programmes that support industry.
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