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Community Focus; Andrew Van Dam, Head Of Research And Development at Tape Ark

Nov 8, 2019

1. How did your journey into electronics begin?

With a Dick Smith "Funway into electronics' kit. These strange blue boards where you used screws and wrapped pieces of wire around them to make little electronics circuits like light flashers and AM radios.

2. What are you working on at the moment?

My day-to-day work is building the software platform for migrating tape archives to the cloud, a big part of that is developing a universal magnetic tape reader at Tape Ark. At home, I've been working on the Bikkie-Mattic, an overly complicated and IoT enabled cat food dispenser that can do measured doses and has feedback to know that food is actually going into the cats bowl.

3. What do you love about being a part of the Spacecubed community?

For me it's about the sharing and diversity. I feel that interesting and novel solutions arise when people are open about what they are doing and can bring a different perspective to a problem.

4. Can you share with us one of your favourite success stories?

Being part of the team that brought the National Geotechnical Centrifuge Facility to life was very exciting. If you're not immersed in the world of Civil engineering and soil mechanics you possibly have not heard of a geotechnical centrifuge, Designing and installing systems for a 50 ton machine that subjects experiments to 100 times earth gravity is kind cool regardless. Getting all of the robotics, data acquisition systems and control rooms setup and running in the UWA facility at Crawly was a big success for me and it was a fantastic team to be a part of.

5. What do you hope to achieve in 2019?

I am trying to build a stronger electronics community in Perth. There is some incredible work being done by people in their back sheds, everything from robotic rock breakers to cube satellites being made here. Unfortunately the community is a little fragmented and unstructured. So hopefully through regular meetups and a new Facebook group we can help each other connect and share our knowledge so that Perth can really leverage the great geographic position it is in with the global electronics industry. 

Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn here or come along to the next Electronics Hobbyists and Engineers Meetup in Perth by registering here.

Our community memberships are a great way to stay up to date with events, industry news and meetups that are taking place across Perth. If you’re interested in getting started, reach out to info@spacecubed.com today and we can customise a workplace solution that suits your needs.