OxTS has innovative solutions for everyone seeking to navigate precisely. We give customers the ability to accurately measure position, time, orientation, and dynamics in all environments. We offer groundtruth enabling automotive customers to validate if, when and how test vehicles deviate from planned paths. We enable surveyors to georeference LiDAR data from multiple sensors. And we enable autonomous navigation engineers to localise their units. There is no end to the applications to which OxTS solutions can be applied. Here, OxTS Application Engineer, Francesca Johnson, shares insights into a typical ‘day in her life’:
1. How long have you worked at OxTS, and what do you like most about the Company?
I have been at OxTS for about a year now – and have loved every second! After graduating university with a master’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, I joined the OxTS Applications Engineering Team. My team specialises in making customers’ requests a reality, and we work closely with many other companies to provide unique solutions to cutting edge challenges. Since starting, I have really enjoyed the breadth of new and innovative projects that OxTS gets involved with. Being involved with the development and testing of our indoor positioning solution has been particularly exciting and creates so many new possibilities for many of our clients.
My favourite thing about OxTS is the emphasis on personal and technical development – particularly by the Engineering and HR teams. Novel ideas are always given a forum for discussion and our technical experts are happy to share their knowledge.
2. What’s involved in a typical day at work for you, as OxTS Application Engineer?
Having worked on a few projects now, I can safely say there is no typical day in the office! Our work varies depending on the requirements of our customers, so I tend to spend about a month in one routine before switching to the next.
While working on the indoor positioning system, my time was split between going to our customer advocate Horiba-MIRA for product testing, and working on our code. Part of this project included a trip to Munich, Germany to share our results with our distributors there. Most of my other projects have been working with our software and firmware. Day-to-day we are given ownership over our projects, allowing close connections with customers and better integration of our products with their systems.
3. What’s the most satisfying thing about your job, and why?
One of the best parts of the job is finishing a difficult project knowing that you have found a good solution to the problems of internal and external customers. There is a hive of people at OxTS who are not only incredibly intelligent but are curious about how we can use new technology, new processes, and sensor fusion in our navigation system. In the OxTS offices, we have a lot of exciting technology we can work with – and on our customer visits we get to see even more!
4. What’s the most challenging thing about being an Application Engineer at OxTS, and how do you manage this?
The most challenging thing about working at OxTS is keeping up with all the new products, projects, and innovations we are developing! While one person can’t be an expert in everything, the great thing is we have a friendly team – so if you don’t know who might have an answer for your question, somebody in the team will. In my office currently we have a real range of talent, from LiDAR whizzes, coding experts and drone pilots, to colleagues with degrees in electronic engineering, artificial intelligence, robotics and physics; so there really is someone with knowledge on everything!
5. What’s the company culture like at OxTS?
One of the most impressive qualities about OxTS is the great working culture. I find when working it makes such a difference if the people surrounding you enjoy their work – this is definitely the case at OxTS. Everyone I have worked with has been incredibly nice, genuine and supportive. As a rule, I have found the Company management respectful of my time; unless we are visiting customer sites, there has never been an expectation to work for more than the 9-5. In the engineering departments, there is a lot of encouragement to explore new ideas and develop these into novel innovations; something that keeps the engineers, the commercial team and ultimately our customers very happy!
The Mental Health First Aider Team, which I am a member of, is a group of friendly faces at OxTS who you can talk to about anything both personal and professional. There’s a real focus on making sure everyone is alright, especially while people are hybrid working and not always in the office.
6. How do you prefer to start your day?
On a workday I prefer to start the day quite early as I take some time (and plenty of coffee) to fully wake up! If I am heading into the office, I’ll pack some breakfast to take with me and drive the country roads to work. When working from home the mornings tend to be a bit slower with time to spare, so I have a bit more time to enjoy myself or do day-to-day tasks.
7. What are you most looking forward to, in your year ahead at OxTS?
Throughout the last few years, OxTS has been working to develop different indoor navigation systems for a variety of use cases. Navigation in GNSS denied spaces is a major focus for us right now, so it’s an exciting time to be in research and development. In the next year, I am looking forward to seeing these products implemented for our customers and hopefully helping out in the delivery of the projects!