Job Spotlight – Kier J. Dugan, Unmanned Systems Developer

Friday November 11th, 2016 TAGS:

The Control Team is the largest team at ASV Global and is continually growing. These people are the brains behind the control system; the hardware and software that makes a boat autonomous. Without them there would be no ‘A’ in ASV.

After completing a MEng Electronic Engineering with Computer Systems degree and a PhD in Electronic Engineering at the University of Southampton, Kier Dugan joined ASV Global as an Unmanned Systems Developer. From developing fish-tracking algorithms to developing advanced collision avoidance behaviours, Kier explains what makes his job truly out of the ordinary…

What does your role involve?

I primarily develop the core control system shared between all vehicles, from both a software perspective (e.g., sharing of vehicle data and controlling hardware) and work on the R&D around advanced collision avoidance behaviours. These activities include back-end programming on vehicles as well as front-end UI design for the control stations.

What is your favourite thing about working for ASV Global?

I love how varied the projects are. Of course they all include working on autonomous boats, but we have a wide range of them and an equally wide range of customers. It’s rare for a software engineer to have such a hands-on job. What’s more, we frequently get to ride the high seas when we need to give our code a proper testing!

What is your greatest achievement at ASV Global?

I’ve developed a fish-tracking algorithm that we proved using a C-Enduro vehicle on the Solent. I’ve been trained to drive powerboats at PB2 level. I’ve worked on a wide range of the interfacing and collision avoidance systems that were recently demonstrated at Unmanned Warrior 2016. The list goes on…

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Like most techies I enjoy tinkering. I also go to the gym, enjoy pub-based social gatherings which may or may not include food/board games and PC gaming.

We’re currently looking for Software Engineers of all experience levels, including graduates, to join our growing control team at Portchester, UK. Find out more here.

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