On Friday, November 19, The Hun School’s robotics team spent the day at Siemens Technology US learning from research scientists, project managers, and cybersecurity experts. Students had a glimpse of what working for a large tech company can look like on a day-to-day basis.
To begin their tour of the Siemens Technology US headquarters, students met with Virginie Maillard, Head of Siemens Technology US, for an introduction to her role within the company as well as the projects she oversees and the overall vision of the company.
Students then stepped into a research lab to explore the trends and challenges associated with automation. Once the challenges were determined, students observed live demonstrations of robots solving those challenges. Next, students learned about edge computing applications and were able to witness how people use edge computing in their everyday lives.
Abhijay Tatineni ’22 notes that he was most interested to learn about the machine learning projects that the company was working on because it most closely relates to his future career path.
"Overall, I thought that the trip to Siemens was great. It was really cool to see the different kinds of machine learning projects they were working on, especially because a lot of it could relate to robotics and engineering which is what most of the team plans to go into as a career path. I personally found the cybersecurity lab to be the most interesting part of the trip because it showed us how Siemens simulates cyber-attacks and prepares to defend itself," he said.
Students then learned about digital twins and simulations from the research group head. Victoria Yee ’22, notes that this presentation was especially eye-opening for her.
“At first, I had the impression that Siemens Technology focused more on machine learning,” she said. “However, this presentation on digital twins and simulations showed me that a combination of simulation and machine learning produces the best results possible. It was really interesting to see that engineering is not just about building physically but testing the model digitally is equally as important.”
Later, Hun students received a crash course on cybersecurity by meeting with a cybersecurity expert within Siemens Technology US. The expert ran students through a simulation of a data attack and showed students exactly how the machine learns to identify the attack using data analytics.
For the last stop of their tour, students met with a research scientist who discussed the Princeton island grid. The scientist was able to show students real-time data collection of the energy consumption and preservation that Siemens Technology US uses on a daily basis based off of solar panels positioned in the company’s parking lot.
Throughout their trip, students were able to see each aspect of the company through a different lens depending on which specialist they were speaking to. The trip allowed students the opportunity to speak directly with STEM professionals on individual research projects, ask questions about careers in STEM, and learn about specific work in each field.
Victoria notes that this trip will allow Hun’s robotics team to model the work that is happening in Siemens Technology US in their own practices.
“We learned a lot about creating digital sketches or simulations and I think we can do that to see how our robot should work in the future,” she said. “It may help us in correcting errors and saving time when building the actual robot.”