Who is Ahto?
Ahto is one of those rare gems, who is extremely skilled at developing electronics, but at the same time has the ability to be a product owner, project manager and capable of leading the whole process of getting a product ready for the market.
But wait, this is not the most interesting part. When he’s not busy improving circuit boards, he plays guitar, does folk dancing, creates computer games and repairs old computers. What a combination of skills and interests! His resume of different capabilities actually reflects the kind of person Ahto is - introverted extrovert who enjoys the challenge of covering different aspects of the human experience.
Ahto's colleagues describe him as a calm, determined and a helpful guy. He is very versatile and if needed, he can run the project all by himself. He is also one of the best at documenting his work and projects, so everybody would have a clear understanding what is going on with the product/project.
Ahto grew up in a small region of Estonia called Märjamaa. He was viewed more of a social and a vocal person, but what people often didn't know was that he enjoyed solving math puzzles and learned computer game programming on his own. He enjoyed the process of creating something from start to finish and as he put it: “I was mesmerized by the feeling of seeing something working that I have created myself”. He mostly created top-down perspective action games and largely from that experience he decided early on that he wanted to study something that combines his skills of engineering, developing and design.
He has a Bachelor degree in Electronics and Bionics and finishing his Masters in Communicative Electronics in Tallinn Technical University. This is also the school where the idea of COMODULE got started. In addition, Ahto valued the experience of the student organisation BEST - Board of European Students of Technology. “It was a great opportunity to meet new people and develop my skills in project/product management and help train other people. All skills that are most useful in my job now” said Ahto.
In the University he mostly enjoyed the practical courses where he could use his craftsmanship, creativity and engineering capabilities. “One of the most memorable projects was when we had to prototype a bat sensor that measures the sound frequency of bats” said Ahto.
What Ahto does at COMODULE?
Ahto heard about COMODULE on a student career day where he met some of the founders and saw the first prototypes of COMODULE. When I asked Ahto why he wanted to work for COMODULE, his answer was pretty straight forward: “I thought that they had some pretty cool products and I saw COMODULE as a place where I could learn and develop. I was hired the next day.”
Ahto is an electronics engineer, but when I asked Ahto to explain what he does for COMODULE in a simple way, he sighed, then laughed, paused and said: “If for some strange reason you should break up your phone, you see a circuit board in there, that's what I do.” To avoid confusion, he doesn't design circuit boards for phones, but any other device we have in COMODULE.
“My regular day consists of measuring, looking at the scheme of the circuit board, soldering, then measuring again - basically rapid prototyping”. In addition, Ahto does parts of product management and sometimes even runs the whole project by himself. “That is what I love about my job, I have the opportunity to alternate between different tasks and experience all aspects of creating a good product” said Ahto.
At the moment, he is working on improving the Diamond Display to get it more efficient and to help scaling up production. He is obsessed by trying to create new ways of making circuit boards more effective - consume less power, use less components and overall making it simpler.
How would you describe the experience of working at COMODULE?
Ahto likes working at COMODULE, because he is able to do a large range of things with a lot of freedom to test and experiment. “I love the fact that there is no right way to do something, you have the opportunity to experiment and test. Be the expert” said Ahto.
When talking about the culture, he said that at the moment COMODULE is growing very fast, but still has a sense of teamwork and community. He adds: “I have a lot of fun colleagues, who are not afraid to make sarcastic jokes and laugh at themselves”. Also, he describes COMODULE management more of a great example of leadership - encouraging, helpful and not afraid to get their hands dirty. All in all, a good mix of fun and everybody doing high quality innovative work.
What is the number one reason you would recommend for somebody to come and work at COMODULE?
“COMODULE is a perfect place for a person who is looking for a flexible working environment, where you can develop and experiment. Also, the ability to experience different sides of projects and products” said Ahto.
In your own words, what is the mission of COMODULE?
Contribute to a healthier environment by improving and making greener ways of transport more accessible to everybody.
Favorite form of transport?
Ahto prefers e-bikes, mainly because it is easy and fun to drive. His favorite one is the Grace e-bike and when I asked why, he replied “Because it is fast. It goes up to 45 km/h.” Ahto said that he lives 7.5 km from the office and whenever he can, he uses one of the e-bikes at the office to get home and to the office.
Thoughts about the future of mobility
“I truly hope that the infrastructure for e-bikes and other electric light vehicles would get better. We already have the technology to reduce pollution and congestion, but at the moment it is sometimes hard to get around the city with an e-bike or something else in that category” said Ahto.