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Meet the bioengineering graduate now working as a tech consultant

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Deloitte’s Ornaith O’Reilly shares her experience of the company’s graduate programme, including the importance of a ‘buddy’ and a ‘coach’.

Click here for more advice for the sci-tech class of 2022.

Ornaith O’Reilly is a recent bioengineering graduate who now works as an analyst in the robotics and intelligent automation department of Deloitte.

While she wasn’t completely sure what she wanted to do when she came out of college, she was keen to gain exposure to different technologies.

“Talking to graduates from Deloitte and other companies ultimately helped me to decide on the role. The emphasis that Deloitte puts on training and development appealed to me as someone coming from a bioengineering background, who expected a steep learning curve starting out,” she told SiliconRepublic.com.

“Coming from a healthcare background, I’ve always wanted to work in an industry that is having a positive impact on the world. Since joining Deloitte, I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects with a strong social impact,” she said.

“From working on public health projects to more recently joining a team contributing to Ireland’s response to the invasion of Ukraine, I feel a great sense of fulfilment in my work.”

While she’s still making up her mind about the type of job she wants to do for the rest of her life, she said Deloitte has plenty of avenues to explore. “Luckily, I can say that I’ve spent my first year on the graduate programme in an environment where I’m constantly learning and growing.”

‘Your opinion is valued no matter what level you are’
– ORNAITH O’REILLY

Can you describe a typical day in your role?

I currently work across two projects which gives me a lot of variety in my day.

Firstly, I work as a solution developer on an internal project using robotic process automation software – a low-code software package to build, deploy and manage software robots that simulate human actions. Typically, I spend half my day working ‘behind the scenes’ building and managing automation solutions.

Secondly, I work with a public client in a project management role. This is very client-facing and allows me to build my communication skills. A typical day could include creating and delivering presentations to senior team members or clients and reporting project progress and issues to stakeholders.

While the two projects appear very different, I really like the variety they give me and how they allow me to grow both technical and soft skills.

Have your responsibilities and workload changed as the programme progressed?

Absolutely. I work with senior members of staff across different departments in Deloitte and very senior clients daily (almost hourly). There really is a flat structure in the firm, where your opinion is valued no matter what level you are.

In the last year, my responsibilities have increased hugely. From taking initiative in client meetings to having more ownership over project deliverables, I feel constantly challenged. While this can sometimes feel daunting, there is so much support available at Deloitte that I’ve never felt overwhelmed.

How do you think this programme has made you more prepared for working life?

Since (almost) day one I’ve worked on client projects, so in lots of ways I feel like I was thrown into working life! I’m a strong believer in immersion being the best way to learn and this has certainly been the case at Deloitte.

However, the graduate programme comes with support at all levels. Firstly, I was assigned a ‘buddy’ – someone junior in the company to help me settle in.

Secondly, I was assigned a ‘coach’ – someone senior in the company, outside of my immediate team, to help guide me in my career at Deloitte. Combining this with the formal training I have received since joining Deloitte, I think that the graduate programme is setting me up for professional success.

Would you recommend the graduate programme at Deloitte to others?

I’d recommend the graduate programme at Deloitte to anyone. Coming from an engineering background, I was initially hesitant that I would feel out of depth in a consulting role or that I wouldn’t find a role that suited me.

After joining the graduate programme, the variety of backgrounds were clear – from history to medical degrees, our graduate intake was definitely interesting! Which made sense to me as soon as I started and saw that no two roles in Deloitte are the same.

This is great for somebody like me who still isn’t sure what they want to do. Thankfully, Deloitte are keen to let you explore and upskill according to your interests.

In terms of social life, coming out of lockdown and starting in Deloitte’s graduate programme was a complete shock to the system. From karaoke to escape rooms and many Thursday night outs, I’ve definitely made friends for life.

I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to meet so many lovely people and for all the memories we’ve made over the last year.

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Tesla has a bit of work to do on Optimus robot • The Register

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Tesla headlined its AI Day 2022 event on Friday with the reveal of its “Optimus” robot prototype, showing just how much work was left to do on the project.

While the demo was certainly more robotic than last year’s dancer in a onesie, the lumbering mess of cables was far from the sleek and sexy design faithful Muskites might expect from the EV maker.

CEO and founder Elon Musk said before the curtains opened: “I do want to set some expectations with respect to our Optimus robot. As you know, last year it was just a person in a robot suit, but we’ve come a long way and, you know, compared to that, it’s going to be impressive.”

But in a world accustomed to the back-flipping bots of Boston Dynamics, Optimus was less than impressive. A mechanical engineer stepped in to inform the audience that this was the first time the robot was run “without any backup support – cranes, mechanical mechanisms, no cables, nothing.”

Tesla Optimus protoype

Tesla’s ‘rough development robot’

The prototype managed to rotate its arms, then tottered to the forefront to give the audience a wave, before walking back as a screen failed to close. “This is essentially the same self-driving computer that runs in Tesla cars by the way,” an Autopilot engineer proclaimed.

The event then showed videos of the robot picking up and putting down objects, and watering plants. “What you saw … was our rough development robot using semi-off-the-shelf actuators. But … we actually have an Optimus bot with fully Tesla-designed and built actuators, battery pack, control system, everything.”

This version, which was then pushed onto the stage, was a little more “Tesla” – slimmer, neater, shinier. Only one problem: it can’t walk. “I think it will walk in a few weeks,” Musk said, “but we wanted to show you something that’s fairly close to what will go into production.”

Clumsily wheeled out by staff, it also managed a couple more waves and did the splits from the rod on which it was mounted.

“Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible,” Musk said. “We’ve also designed it using the same discipline we use in designing the car, which is to say to design a form of manufacturing such that it is possible to make the robot in high volume at low cost with higher liability.

“You’ve all seen very impressive humanoid robots demonstrations, and that’s great, but what are they missing? They’re missing a brain. They don’t have the intelligence to navigate the world by themselves. They’re also very expensive and made in low volume. Optimus is designed to be an extremely capable robot but made in very high volume – ultimately millions of units – and it’s expected to cost much less than a car, so probably less than $20,000.”

That’s one expensive Roomba.

Accepting that there was “a lot of work to be done to refine Optimus and improve it,” Musk said the aim of the event was convince more AI and mechanical engineers to join the company to bring the project “to fruition at scale” and “help millions of people.”

He then waxed lyrical about an economy where there was “not a limitation on capita,” which could then become “quasi-infinite,” implying that he hopes Tesla’s robots might one day replace humans on production lines.

“This means a future of abundance,” he said. “A future where there is no poverty, where you can have whatever you want in terms of products and services. It really is a fundamental transformation of civilization as we know it.”

As if to reference his belief that AI is humanity’s “biggest existential threat,” he added: “Obviously, we want to make sure that transformation is a positive one and safe,” claiming that Tesla’s public ownership model was the right way to achieve this.

While not quite the disasterpiece of the Cybertruck reveal, going by what was shown at the AI Day, such a utopia is still far away. ®

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Dublin proptech constructing an operating system for buildings

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The SpaceOS platform sets out to create smart workplaces as the world wises up to the future of hybrid, flexible and sustainable work.

“We believe that buildings have been failing to answer people’s needs for decades,” said Marley Fabisiewicz. “We’re making them more convenient and human-centric with technology, while feeding the property managers and real estate developers with data.”

That, in a nutshell, is what proptech start-up SpaceOS is all about. “The real estate industry is a dinosaur,” said co-CEO Fabisiewicz, whose vision is to realise its digital transformation through developing tech-enabled workspaces. “Our mission is to help companies attract, retain, inspire and empower their people by creating dynamic and digitised workplace communities.”

Headquartered in Dublin, SpaceOS offers a workplace experience platform that Fabisiewicz said “turns smartphones into remote controls for the workplace”. The name derives from the concept of creating “an operating system for buildings”.

What this involves, Fabisiewicz explained, is digitising physical assets and providing APIs to integrate existing business technologies, such as access control. “[SpaceOS] covers everything from opening doors and booking desks and rooms, to ordering food, registering guests and sending out invoices, all blended seamlessly into daily workflows,” he said.

“Because of its modular structure, SpaceOS is ready to integrate with a variety of platforms to meet the specific requirements of any workspace infrastructure. It connects all stakeholders, reduces inputs and costs, provides insights, and offers smart management tools. It provides building managers and users with transparency, cost efficiency and real-time information, while focusing on the user experience.”

‘Dynamic workspaces are shaping the future of work’
– MARLEY FABISIEWICZ

Fabisiewicz sees the platform as essential to the transformed modern workplace. “We are targeting building owners, tenants, and managers. With a high demand for spaces to fit varying needs in a modern work environment, dynamic workspaces are shaping the future of work,” he said.

“However, current building management tools were typically designed before hybrid working became mainstream. As a result, they are inflexible and lack the adaptability and technology necessary to make today’s workspaces more efficient, while reducing operating costs.”

Demand for SpaceOS could also be employee-driven, Fabisiewicz explained, as modern workers demand systems that enable flexibility, engagement and sustainable practices. Clients can use the platform to deliver push notifications for news, events or community updates, and the service also offers detail data on carbon emissions, to support net-zero initiatives.

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals have been a focal point of the start-up in the past year, leading to a partnership with Germany company Aedifion, which provides a cloud-based platform to collate data on buildings’ energy consumption.

“This collaboration allows property owners and managers to offer tenants a real-time visualisation of metrics regarding their energy usage and carbon emissions. This is the basis for transparency, and a step to make everyone in the workplace become a sustainability activist, supporting the decarbonisation of buildings,” said Fabisiewicz.

“We are currently working on managing heating, ventilation and energy based on occupancy and capacity data, to decarbonise buildings even more effectively. Future integrations will also allow tenants to remote-control HVAC, blinds, lights and more, through the SpaceOS app.”

‘The landscape has changed significantly since the markets tanked’
– MARLEY FABISIEWICZ

Serial entrepreneur Fabisiewicz also founded Upnext Technologies, a software and digital product development agency focused on the fintech industry.

SpaceOS was founded in 2017 by Fabisiewicz and his co-CEO Maciej Markowski, who has a background in real estate consultancy and proptech. “He has international experience in corporate workplace and change issues, advising major corporations on their workplace research, strategy and change management,” said Fabisiewicz.

So far, the founding duo have increased revenue three times over in the past 12 months and built up a strong client portfolio. “However, we are still in the early innings of the proptech game,” said Fabisiewicz. “Market saturation for tenant experience technology is at around 5pc globally, so there’s still a massive upside potential and room to grow.”

Of course, the present-day market disruptions present a challenging environment for growth and investment. “The landscape has changed significantly since the markets tanked,” said Fabisiewicz. “12 months ago, it was all about hypergrowth. Today, it’s all about how quickly you can become profitable.”

In Dublin, however, Fabisiewicz describes the start-up ecosystem as “a continuous boom” with “more money to be deployed by investors, more founders with great ideas, and a maturing ecosystem for start-ups in general”.

In his company’s case, SpaceOS is looking for “smart money” that offers more than a cash injection. Fabisiewicz is seeking investors who “not only write a cheque, but also support in building the business”.

“I believe especially in proptech this is essential for a successful start-up,” he said.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk showcases humanoid robot – video | Technology

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Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, showcased his humanoid robot, Optimus, at the electric vehicle maker’s AI Day event. The billionaire has said a robot business will be worth more than its carmaking business. At the event a prototype of the robot walked on stage and waved to the audience. And a video of it carrying a box, watering plants and moving metal bars in the Tesla factory was shown.’Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible,’ Musk said at the event in Palo Alto, California.

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