Today you get to know our Engineering and R&D Expert Rupert Brooks. He is our most senior engineering expert here and is an expert in simulation software development, virtual reality, haptic systems in the MedTech sector.
Let’s start with an easy question: what was your intention to join the team?
I was looking for an environment where I could be a bit more hands on and closer to the development of a product. The thought of a small company with a focused, forward thinking product design was really appealing to me.
What does a typical day at OSSimTech office looks like for you?
I'm the research team lead, so my first task of the day is usually to check on how things are moving along, provide guidance if necessary and make sure details don't slip through the cracks. Quality control is important in our company but for many of the R&D tasks, it really takes another researcher to check and review the work in a peer review format. So I often have review and QA to do on the output of the team. Nonetheless, it is still possible from time to time for me to sit down and write some code that makes it into the product.
If you have 3 words to describe OSSimTech, what would they be?
Fast growing! I guess that is two words. Really fast-growing? When I started there was just a handful of us and that was not even a year ago. We have now grown to 30 or more.
What do you think: Why is R&D important for the future of Virtual Reality training in surgery?
Virtual reality is once again becoming a popular thing, but like many technologies once you step a little off the beaten path it gets very difficult to make what you want happen with off-the-shelf solutions. Things like realistic haptic feedback, and cutting and removing tissue in a realistic way require new solutions, that go beyond what is widely available. I think research into novel approaches will be needed for quite a number of the things we have planned for the future in order to fully take advantage of the V.R. capabilities.
The OSSimTech Team is rapidly growing - What’s the ONE profession you bring to the Team?
Unless I can be as vague as "engineering", this is a bit difficult because I am kind of a jack of all trades. I have worked on a surgical simulator before, and I've also been part of the development of a medical device from design up to the product support stage. I'm certainly not the absolute expert on any of the topics that we work on but I have a certain comfort level working on all of our topics of interest whether it's finite elements or parallel programming or electronic design. The variety is interesting.
What was/will be your professional/personal highlight in the last/next few weeks?
The R&D team has been working very hard on a completely new framework for our haptic rendering. It is a very challenging problem and is requiring work from the whole team and we managed to pull together a number of advancement and I'm really excited to see it in action on our simulator.
On a personal level, I’m looking forward to see my little nephew in Abitibi this X-mas!
Everyone needs some time out, especially after so many questions. How and where do you reload your energy during your after work?
I like to make things, from wood and metal working to gardening and cooking. This year I grew my own hops and brewed beer with them. I also do enjoy a barbecue and have no qualms about barbecuing in the snow. All conditions are barbecue conditions in my view.