One of our key mandates at Ocean Networks Canada is to find and encourage highly qualified personnel to sustain and advance ocean industry. At the Centre of Innovation, these young professionals-in-training come from a wide range of disciplines in engineering and science.
In September 2012, U Vic electrical engineering student Nicolai Bailly was brought on board to help develop the world’s first very low frequency (VLF) digital hydrophone calibration system.
Sensor Technologies Development Officer Tom Dakin had interviewed a large group of talented young students from the U Vic Engineering Co-op Office. But he felt that Nico would be an excellent choice, with a demonstrated aptitude in acoustics – in this case music –an electrical engineering background, and a facility with mechanical engineering. “Even Nico’s hobbies showed his passion,” recalls Tom. “He was designing a foot pedal for guitars. This incorporates electronics and mechanical design with signal processing—now that’s what I call a transferrable talent.”
"Even Nico’s hobbies showed his passion. He was designing a foot pedal for guitars. This incorporates electronics and mechanical design with signal processing—now that’s what I call a transferrable talent.”
Nico worked for two four-month terms, while finishing up his final year at U Vic. He’s written the automated control software for the VLF hydrophone calibration system and made significant contributions to the mechanical and electrical design of the system. He even agreed to stay on after his terms ended to develop the system for patent approval.
“I really appreciate Nico’s can-do attitude – we’ve never run into anything Nico felt he couldn’t do,” says Tom. “He’s good on a boat, good in the lab, good at interfacing with suppliers and contractors. We wish him the best and will miss him for sure.” Should he take one of the positions with our ocean partners, I look forward to a new phase in a productive relationship.”
Nico leaves ONC with open water and lab experience in both sonar and hydrophones. He’ll be pursuing an engineering career in underwater acoustics, at a time when ocean acoustic systems are seeing an explosion in new capabilities.