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In order to solve complex problems you need to split them into smaller pieces although still keeping in mind the whole context

Alexander Jankowski, guest researcher at InnoRenew CoE; Main area of research: robotics

  • Where were you living in childhood and where do you live now?

I was born in Kwidzyn Poland. My father moved to United Kingdom alone when I was four. Then when I was six years old, we moved with my mother and her husband to Gdańsk Poland. Hard to say where my recent house is for now so better to skip that part.

  • What have you studied and what were the motives for your decision?

First, I get technical grade in electronics. Because I had good grades in college, I could choose what I want to study. I knew that with electronics you could control whatever devices you want. I wonder what would be the most interesting one to control. Those days I was fascinated by electric cars and robots, so I picked mechatronics which enables you to control devices that operates on mechanical principles. Place of study Gdańsk University of Technology

  • How would you describe your work to someone outside your field?

I would say that in my work I design physical objects which can be then manufactured but I have to think about making those physical objects move and how to control this whole procedure. So, I need to utilize electronics devices with proper program uploaded. Sometimes mechanical and electronics parts as well as code is predesigned by other engineers, sometimes you do it on your own it all depend on the scale of the project.

  • What does your typical working day look like?

It depends. Sometimes I design some 3d parts, other days I design electronics boards then when it’s done I need to make prototypes later try to program it and maybe if everything works I can take part in manufacturing process.

  • What makes you excited about your work?

When you find that your device finally works after many hours of your work it’s kind of rewarding.

  • And what is the biggest challenge at your work?

I been recently speaking with guys from Instituto Italiano di technologia and ask them If I can build their invention on my own. They said that it is open source and all files are freely available but they also added “entirely on your own is definitely not doable“. So, the biggest challenge of mine is making mechatronics on my own.

  • Which scientist or scientific achievement are you fascinated by and why?

I would say Leonardo da Vinci, and Nikola Tesla were the most prominent inventors of all the time, and I admire their work the most. Important scientific achievements of our time I would say that also researchers from Bell laboratories John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley have done great job by inventing transistor and Jack Kilby for inventing integrated circuit should be also nominated.

  • Tell us about the work of art (books, music, movies, theatre, dance, visual arts) that has a special place in your life.

I am intrigued by “The matrix” movie.

  • What have you read, listened to, or watched lately?

Last book that I have read “Duhigg Charles – The power of habit”

Last album that I have listened to is “ATB – Trilogy”

  • Describe your very first impression of Slovenia.

That’s a cosy place.

  • What do you like about Slovenia and what do you miss most from your homeland?

People are nice, food is tasty in Slovenia. But I miss my polish friends, and the tase of my grandmother’s dinner.

  • Which place on the Slovene coast do you like the most?

I think Piran is the most awesome place that I would recommend visit any person who is planning his trip to Slovene coast.

  • What makes you enthusiastic?

The prospect of a peaceful and fulfilled life in abundance.

  • Characterize your life’s guidance or an important realization (or epiphany) you have experienced.

In order to solve complex problems in life you need to split them into smaller pieces although still keeping in mind the whole context.

  • What does the charm of wood mean to you?

In Szymbark next to my hometown there has been set the world record for the longest table made of wooden plank. We came to visit this place last summer with my friends and it was really impressive. I mean wood is not the best for mechanical constructions (for sure not as good as steel in terms of mechanical properties) but its appearance make daily use of things better for human perception. Therefor I’m in favour to use it as often as possible in every engineering design.