WIMTACH Student Profile: Prasan Bagga

After a few of his friends shared details about their work on projects for WIMTACH, Prasan Bagga knew he had to join the program. So shortly afterwards, he started monitoring the WIMTACH LinkedIn profile for student opportunities, eager for his co-op term in his Electronic Engineering Technology program to begin so that he could apply for an opening for a Student Researcher position. It took several months, but finally, in October 2023, Prasan was pleased to join the WIMTACH electronics development team for an applied research project collaboration with Sensofine Inc.

The Canadian based startup company at the Innovation Boost Zone (IBZ), has partnered with WIMTACH on an on-going collaboration to develop an innovative electronic circuit system for data reading, transferring, and power management technology which would be integrated into smart clothing articles. Through this project collaboration, Student Researchers like Prasan are enabled to perform tasks like conducting literature reviews, selecting appropriate components and technologies for Hardware and Software implementation, as well as conducting experiments and tests to validate designs for electronic features. Prasan found that this internship opportunity was the ideal entry role to gain practical experience in an e-textile project.

Every Wednesday, Prasan would participate in a team meeting with the industry partner and the WIMTACH research team, present his conclusions and seek directions for next steps in his research. Then he would actually apply the research when designing and testing features of the project with other student team members. This iterative process strengthened his understanding of designing concepts, his familiarity with Computer Aided Design software, and armed him with knowledge about the latest best practices when developing applied research projects. As a result, in just four months, he was able to become confident in his understanding of the sequential tasks required to build a successful e-textile project. “These specific things were the most important part I learned,” he said.

This self-assurance was present in many ways. In fact, Prasan noticed that ultimately, he was less nervous when holding presentations and it expanded his vision of his future career path. “My target goal would be something related to research,” he said. “If I manage more projects … if I learn more… I believe that in the coming few months I will be able to.”

For Prasan, the researching components of his role was an important feature of his internship. Every time he received positive feedback about his research work in a presentation, he was reaffirmed and energized to work harder. “I’d remember that this was what I did to make it look better and maybe I am planning on working on [it] that way so that it’s always good for the audience,” he said.

More, the collaborative environment at WIMTACH made it particularly easy for him to build a connection with members of his team and useful for his education. While participating in project planning meetings with other students, holding discussions and brainstorming sessions, and assisting with preparations for presentations, Prasan was able to troubleshoot and strengthen his ideas.

Reflecting on his time at WIMTACH, the knowledge that he was able to be part of a team that was working on constructing something from scratch instead of maintaining an existing project was invaluable for him. “That’s the best part of working at WIMTACH,” he said. “Here we are building a new thing.”

Now, a graduate from Centennial College, Prasan is working as a Quality Control Inspector at AtkinsRéalis and he is implementing some of the technical and research skills he learned at WIMTACH such as documentation practices, testing, and presenting in his new role. “I believed that WIMTACH definitely helped me to get this job offer,” he said. “[Students] should join WIMTACH if they get a chance because they learn a lot of things.”

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