From gaming mods to maritime software systems
Drawing on his skills in game modifying, Louis Nathan transitioned this interest into his maritime defence career after landing a Software Engineering role with Saab Australia.
“Through making game mods, I developed skills like coding, designing, strategy and perhaps most importantly, taking an existing piece of software and tweaking it for a better user experience.”
“As a Software Engineer, I have the opportunity to conduct research, analyse and evaluate computer programs to ensure smooth and efficient operation,” Louis said.
“Identifying technological limitations and problems in existing systems, processes, procedures or operating methods, and being accountable for designing and developing effective software solutions to meet requirements are all importance elements of software engineering.”
Louis initially undertook a Certificate III Computing course at TAFE SA and then looked at options for further study.
“After completing my studies at TAFE SA, I enrolled in a Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) degree at the University of South Australia (UniSA), which I really enjoyed.”
For up and coming engineers, Louis encourages students to ensure they have two-way communications with lecturers and stay open to opportunities.
“Question everything and if you find your passion, then everything will fall into place,” Louis said.
In a case of serendipity, Louis received an opportunity to undertake a three-week study tour to Vietnam while he was undertaking a personal development course through the University.
“It all just fit perfectly with the short course I was undertaking at the time and encouraged me to try new things and get out of my comfort zone.”
A partnership between UniSA and the University of Information Technology in Ho Chi Min City created an opportunity for Louis to immerse himself in another culture.
“I was able to experience learning in a unique environment and gain an appreciation for international business.”
While Louis was in Vietnam, he received an email from UniSA – this time about a partnership with Saab Australia, which involved a student-exchange opportunity in Stockholm.
“I was ecstatic, so I jumped at the opportunity.”
Through Saab Australia’s collaboration with UniSA and KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, a study and internship program had been developed, which involved a group of software engineering students spending a semester studying at KTH, followed by a six-week internship at Saab’s headquarters in Sweden.
“It was the first time Saab had run the exchange program and it was an incredible opportunity to understand the business from a global perspective” Louis explained.
Upon completion of his degree, Louis was successful in joining Saab Australia’s graduate program and became part of Saab’s Maritime team.
“We worked on the tactical data link system for next generation 9LV combat systems”.
Louis reflected on his experiences with Saab and how it has helped him gain international experience.
“I made a lot of connections in Sweden and when I came to Saab Australia, I ended up working with that same team on the same project, but this time from the Australian perspective.
“As a part of Saab’s Graduate Program, I also attended Saab’s ‘Grad School’ – a 4-hour session every fortnight where we’d do all kinds of training and learning about aspects of the different disciplines, such as hardware and combat systems engineering, legal, marketing and the business development side of business.”
“With Saab’s ongoing commitment to learning and professional development, along with the friendly environment they create, I was keen to join the team,” Louis said.
“It is really exciting to work for such a great organisation on an important program that is going to leave a long-standing legacy for Australia.”
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