CoreHW summer trainee story: Sahan Wickramaarachchi

At the forefront of new technologies

After graduating this spring, Sahan Wickramaarachchi has been busy working as Junior RFIC Design Engineer at CoreHW’s Oulu location. He studied Wireless Communications Engineering at the Oulu University’s Master’s program and specialized in RF (radio frequency). At CoreHW, Sahan now works with low noise amplifiers for GPS receivers and millimeter wave frequencies. Applying his theoretical knowledge into practice has been very satisfying.

“I am very passionate about RFIC design, so this position was perfect considering my skills and academic background. However, I feel that I have learned so much already because at the university, the focus was not product or market oriented. Here every project has a timeframe and specifications on deliverables, so it is challenging, but also makes things more interesting,” Sahan ex- plains.

Continuous learning at work

To keep up with technical innovations and trends, Sahan participates in webinars and follows selected social media accounts. He also does his own research on the internet based on the requirements of the project or task at hand. At CoreHW, all new employees work alongside their mentor who provides support with project tasks and ensures a smooth induction. Sahan likes the way continuous learning is woven into his everyday work.

“My mentor is specifically allocated as my learning resource and I feel I can turn to him when needed. I have learned a lot about product development simulations, which is something that I have not done before. Our RF design team is very experienced, which is another great opportunity for me to improve my skills and learn from them.” Sahan says.

Challenging oneself

Sahan likes to challenge himself at work by going beyond the specifications of the design and delivering before the deadline. One surprising challenge occurred during his first month at CoreHW when he got the chance to participate in a customer meeting with the design team.

“As Junior Engineer, it was very special for me that I was invited in this meeting, which was an important one for the company. It was fascinating to see this side of our work and it gave me a completely new perspective on what our team does.”

This incident made Sahan feel valued and trusted. “I am not sure this would have happened in any other company. It is a great example on CoreHW’s low hierarchy, which I appreciate a lot.”

A passionate cyclist

When not working, Sahan can be found glued to a bicycle saddle. In addition to biking to work every day, Sahan does mountain biking and distance cycling. Luckily there are great opportunities for both in Oulu. “For longer cycling trips my favorite place is Kiiminki river, which is located about 20 kilometers outside Oulu city center,” he says.

As RFIC Design Engineer, there is one thing that Sahan is most proud of at his work: designing RFICs for millimeter wave frequencies with nanometer-scale CMOS technology. “This is a new technology that I get to work with, which makes it very challenging. At the same time the work is very rewarding, and it sparks my interest every day,” Sahan says.