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Engineering dreams

New graduates and rising entrepreneurs turn idea into potential career

special feature: Student Success 2019

Part of a special feature celebrating the success of Memorial's graduates. This feature coincides with spring 2019 convocation ceremonies.

By Jackey Locke

They were destined to become engineers.

It was Darryl Day and Matt Noseworthy’s childhood passion for software development and Liam Cadigan’s early fascination with electricity that eventually led all three to enrol in the electrical engineering program at Memorial.

The three will realize their mutual childhood dream to become engineers when they cross the stage at the St. John’s Arts and Culture during the afternoon convocation ceremony on May 30.

Now they have another mutual dream: to become entrepreneurs. Their company idea has already shown potential.

In the fall of 2018 Mr. Day and Mr. Noseworthy decided to do entrepreneurial work terms, which allowed them to work on their startup idea full-time for a semester.

“We have invented an augmented reality tool designed for viewing circuit boards from a smartphone or tablet,” said Mr. Noseworthy. “The solution we are developing will make the testing process more efficient, economical and greener.”

The graduates’ solution in action: A circuit overlay using augmented reality.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

Engineering firms design circuit boards using complex software.

The boards are often manufactured in China, which means a 1-2 week lead time to obtain them. Then, the boards need to be tested — a time-consuming, expensive and often frustrating task.

“You really feel like you’re moving the company forward and that’s a rewarding feeling to have.” — Darryl Day

According to Mr. Noseworthy, the circuit boards contain many tiny, complex components that all need to be tested to ensure all of the metal probes are in the correct locations. This process is time-consuming due to the inherent context switch between the physical board and searching for information on the computer or a printed document.

“Our solution tracks the board in real time and produces meaningful overlays that clearly identify each small part and show the tester exactly where they need to be poking or adjusting,” he said. “They’re no longer spending hours printing out things to cross-reference stuff. It’s shown right in front of them.”

Recently they received a USD$10,000 grant from Y Combinator, one of the most prestigious incubators in North America. The funding was the result of placing in the top 100 out of 10,500 groups that participated in a recent Y Combinator Startup School online program.

Green technology

The graduates’ technology also boasts increased sustainability.

From left are Darryl Day, Matt Noseworthy and Liam Cadigan in the university’s Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

“During the testing process, photos of the design and the different layers are printed sometimes many times,” said Mr. Cadigan. “With the help of our solution, printing won’t be necessary. Also, as companies iterate through multiple boards as they design a product, fewer errors are made, which means fewer boards end up in the trash.”

Mr. Day says his work term experiences sparked his interest in entrepreneurism.

“My third work term was with a startup,” he said. “It was my first time working at a startup and I fell in love with the ecosystem. You really feel like you’re moving the company forward and that’s a rewarding feeling to have.”

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