I am an engineer for PowerVR Graphics within Imagination. A simple analogy that I use for my family would be that of an architect; I help to design buildings, without having to lift a hammer, but in my case the building is the graphics processor chip found in a range of devices, and my building materials are logic gates and storage registers. I’m currently working on the latest graphics hardware, helping to make the vertex controller more efficient. One of the more peculiar things about working on cutting edge technology is the time it takes to market. By the time my first contribution to the hardware is available to consumers; I’ll already be working on something due to come out in 3 years’ time.
I previously did a summer internship at Pure and liked the company so much I thought I’d come back for more. The company is mostly engineers, so there are lots of like-minded people around you. It’s very easy to slot in, make friends, and have a good time. Most days it doesn’t even feel like I’m doing ‘work’, it feels more like an on-going project, which I think is great and really suits my personality and working style. Imagination is a relaxed place to work with most people wearing casual attire. We also have ‘Treat of the Week’ every Wednesday morning where everyone goes to the canteen for a free snack (whether its doughnuts, cake, cookies, cupcakes or fruit) and chance to socialise with fellow engineers, friends and colleagues.
It has been a great experience so far. I have worked on interesting and difficult problems, taking advantage of technical skills I learnt at university. What I love about the company is the freedom I’m given to go about my work. Managers are always open to suggestions and new techniques to improve workflow, and this in turn allows me to work at my most efficient.
To get where I am today, I studied a lot of maths and electronics whilst still in school and college. I then completed an undergraduate degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Whilst studying there that I came across Imagination Technologies as they would hold lectures and advertising campaigns to promote what they did. After applying for a summer placement and successfully completing it in my penultimate year, I quickly applied for a graduate job in the PowerVR Graphics group.
My advice to up and coming graduate hardware engineers is to make sure you understand the basics of digital hardware design.