WIMTACH Student Profile: Faiyazahmad Ansari

Faiyazahmad Ansari joined WIMTACH and the FabrIc-Based REsearch (FIBRE) program as an Electronics Student Researcher in August 2023 and it offered him his first technical job in Canada. With foundational skills as a student in the Electronics Engineering Technology program at Centennial College, he has been able to implement his passion for Printed circuit board designing and programming, for various project collaborations since joining the program.

To date, he has been able to assist the WIMTACH research team with the development of three projects, including a project collaboration with Interaxon. This project collaboration centered on research on the best durable e-textile fabric suited to support Muse headbands. Faiyaz’s role was to test the fabric and help the team with further research. “I was having the Muse band on my head and we were assessing the data from our head,” he said.

His involvement in an on-going project collaboration with Sensofine, enabled him to play a larger role in the project development cycle, requiring him to perform tasks such as research, data analysis, and PCB designing. The project is centered on the development of an integrated electronic circuit on fabric for data reading, transferring, and power management in smart clothing. Through this project, Faiyaz was also able to gain mentorship from the WIMTACH leadership team on the use of Computer Aided Design software and the opportunity to apply his knowledge of programming from school. “It was [a] very good experience to expand my knowledge in terms of PCB design,” he said. “It was my learning phase in terms of PCB design … I can say I got 50 per cent of my experience from this one project.”

A major highlight of his internship experience, Faiyaz’s inclusion in all parts of the Sensofine project offered many educational turning points for him. He was excited to make sensors out of fabric, then excited still when it came time for PCB designing. “Like we were making [the] whole projects from scratch, so I was [getting the] total experience,” he said. “Just three people were making the whole project so I was [getting] the whole idea of how the project was going on, what are the steps we have to go for, how to have a communication with the client.”

Faiyaz is continuing to join as many WIMTACH projects as he can and he is currently working in the WIMTACH Fibra project development team on the development of an integrated e-textile heart rate sensor for fertility use and he is enjoying every part of the project development process so far. “It’s a very good experience,” he said. His involvement with this project has enabled him to develop sensors, fabrication, circuit and schematic designing skills, along with microcontroller programming skills. Soon, he will be working on the Bluetooth module development for a mobile phone. He also notes that his involvement in projects has helped him so much including enhancing his communication skills from his participation in regular team meetings where he is tasked with presenting his ideas and work for review. “Previously, before joining WIMTACH, I didn’t have hands-on experience, I would say practical experience,” he said. “Our project is now applicable in the real world … so currently I am having a totally practical experience.”

In the long run, Faiyaz hopes to gain a role as a Microcontroller programmer and he’s sure that WIMTACH is steering him towards that path. His training in project collaborations with WIMTACH partners like Sensofine has been especially valuable for him because they have instilled confidence in his abilities and armed him with the tools to leverage his experience for future professional roles and opportunities. He is looking forward to his graduation in December and plans on working at WIMTACH until then. “[WIMTACH] is an amazing platform for students,” he said.

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