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CITRIS Workforce Innovation Program 2022 – Epilogue

It was a great experience participating in the CITRIS Workforce Innovation Program. Thank Azarely Bedolla, Cassie Young, and Manjari Talasila. I am proud to work with you in this internship program.

Figure 1: The undergrads presented their research results on the Intern Demo Day.

We collaborated with three brilliant undergrads for eight weeks between June and August 2022. We learned a lot from each other. We built cool software and hardware prototypes. We had good meetings with our partners and customers. The internship program was very productive and meaningful.  

Our internship activities focused on three areas:

1.R&D: comparison of wildfire detection technologies, wildfire risks at WUI, customer’s role in innovation diffusion, identify real-world wildfire locations from photos, design stands to turn smartphones into wildfire detection sensors, add microclimate information to wildfire detection alerts, etc. 

2.deploy pilots: we set up our LookOut wildfire detection software-as-a-service on public cameras. We tested the beta version of our new LookOut Cam app and used smartphones as image input devices for our LookOut wildfire detection SaaS.

3.connect the interns to entrepreneurs/innovators in Asia and Europe thru the “Different is Strength” interview initiative

Figure 2: Different is Strength – interview with Elisaweta Penewa Petrow, in-spectum, Austria

It was new to the interns working with a climatetech based in Asia. We found it was a great opportunity for the students to meet more people working with startups in different countries. It would broaden their worldviews and expand their networks.

Figure 3: Different is Strength – interview with Alicia Lui, WISE, Hong Kong

We invited startup mentors, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders to meet the interns and share their experiences with the undergrads. The diverse background brought inspiring conversations. The interns wrote LinkedIn articles to summarize the discussions and share what they learned. We named this interview series “Different is Strength”.

Figure 4: Different is Strength – interview with Diana Pati, Impact Shakers, Austria
Figure 5: Different is Strength – interview with Marie Helene Mansard Parilusyan, AXIS Communications, Singapore
Figure 6: Different is Strength – interview with Megan Fisher, EnergyLab, Australia
Figure 7: Different is Strength – interview with Paula Padrino Vilela, UNEP, Switzerland

They are busy executives. They are keen to help the millenniums and work together to build a better world. They invest in new generations and put the youth in their priorities. During the interviews, they shared with us stories that motivate people and drive changes. Both the interns and I learned a lot from our guests. Thank you very much.

The interns joined some of our external meetings. They observed how organizations collaborated to achieve common goals. This is valuable on-the-job training. Special thanks are given to the following organizations. They allowed the interns to attend our discussions:

Figure 8: The interns joined WWF Hong Kong intern team in an image labelling workshop

I am working with the CITRIS team on the CITRIS Research Exchange Fall 2022 Seminar Series. We talked about the Workforce Innovation Program in a recent meeting.

“What was your experience working with the interns?”

“It was a remarkable journey. The students were very helpful, flexible, and ambitious. Because of the time zone difference, they worked most of the day without our supervision. They completed their tasks timely and professionally. Their self-discipline was impressive. They met experts from different countries and domains during the internship. They asked good questions and learned a lot from our mentors, partners and customers. Interesting and fruitful interactions. They helped accelerate the prototyping and testing phases in our innovation design process. Some customers are now testing their research results. It is pretty cool!  I think they enjoyed the internship. I enjoyed working with them too. Thank you.”

Please contact us at info@roboticscats.com if you have any question or suggestion.


By Andre Cheung

I am lucky working in the ICT industry in the past 20 years to collaborate with colleagues, partners and customers to use technologies to change the way we work, live, play and learn! I have strong interests in cloud computing, AI and information security. “It is the technologies marry with liberal arts, marry with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing!”

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