Member interview ~Vol.2 The environment which affords us to do what we want to do.~

The interviewees for vol.2 are two members from engineer. Even though they are students, they have dived into space-tech venture company simultaneously with spirit of challenge.

Image for post
Image for post

1.Self-introduction

Can you introduce yourself?

Interviewee①: Yohei Kimura (Yohei)
I’ve studied engineering at university. In those days, I wanted to get involved in robot manufacturing for space exploration, but I met a satellite development project of Tohoku Univ. when I was looking for the master’s course. That’s when I found satellite development interesting.
Then, I was inspired by Tsukuba Univ. because it is nearby the JAXA and I wondered that I could get involved in any opportunity related to space.
Therefore, I’ve decided to enter the master’s program.

In the first year, I met Nagata san, CTO of WARPSPACE, and he told me that he’s been running space venture. Then I’ve started working together. That was the beginning of my career at WARPSPACE and I’ve joined as a fulltime member in November 2018.

Image for post
Image for post

(He is literally crazy about cat)

Interviewee②: Pragyan Shrestha (Pragyan)
I’m from Nepal. I belong to faculty of science and engineering system at Tsukuba Univ. I’ve lived in Japan since I was high school to learn robotics. But at the same time, I was interested in theoretical physics. Then, at the time I decide the university, I’ve found that job hunting is quite difficult for researcher of theoretical physics in Japan, so that I’ve shifted my major from physics to engineering and entered Tsukuba Univ.

Then, in the first year at Tsukuba, a friend of mine told me about “Yui project”, satellite development project at university and I joined, but I couldn’t work on manufacturing since the second satellite has been just launched.

Then, Nagata san said to me, “Why don’t you work as part time at WARPSPACE?”. I was itching to manufacture something at that time so I’ve joined in the end of 2018 as part time member.

Image for post
Image for post

ーWell, both of you have worked for a long time compared to other members, haven’t you?

(Yohei)
Right. In fact, I joined ahead of Azuma san, the first interviewee.

2.Responsibility in WARPSPACE

Then, can you explain your responsibility in WARPSPACE?

(Pragyan)
Mainly I support Nagata san. The first task I was in charge of is software development of transceiver, then ground station. In addition to development, I go abroad for business trip with Tsunemachi san, (WARPSPACE CEO.)

(Yohei)
He is likely to bring you to business trip. You went to Germany, didn’t you?

Pragyan
Yes I did. And Yutah, Washington D.C., etc.

Image for post
Image for post

(@plane for Washington D.C.)

ー You translate Japanese and English, right? Then, are you trilingual (JP/EN/Nepali)?

Pragyan
Technically no, I can also speak Hindi. So quadrilingual.

Yohei
Oh! Wow! You can go to India as well!
I wonder that such multilingual person is not in our company…?

Pragyan
Honestly, I’m bothered to write Hindi.

3.Not that well-known, the role of engineers

ー Have you experienced something difficulty to work at venture company as a college student, especially regarding the technical aspect?

Pragyan
I have problems and something I don’t understand. But mostly I can figure them out through research or asking.

Like this method is so-called “Stack Overflow”. Let’s say, if I don’t know the how-to or I get an incomprehensible error during software development, I can find out the solutions to get over it on Qiita or other platform.

Some of them work, but the others don’t, so I often tackle those issues with research and evaluation in several language. Regarding development documents or how-to methods, English ones are more accessible than Japanese. Besides, especially about software, I can find new documents in Hindi.

ー Can you talk about hard things as engineer from your point of view?
(Yohei)
Just after I joined, I’ve started structural system and 3D CAD. But documentation of WARP-01 was much harder.
I joined November though, the deadline of some documents were end of December. Even we have not finished the design, Nagata san was swamped with master’s thesis. That was really tough time for me.

Image for post
Image for post

(After hand over of WARP-01. Left: CTO Akihiro Nagata)

ー You have done design, CAD, analysis and documentation…Unbelievable.

Yohei
Yes, everything.
I guess that things didn’t go on schedule if I hadn’t joined at the time…haha
After that, I took responsibility for assembling and test, then I supported software development to build ground station.

4.Create the environment where affords us to do proactively what we want to do.

ー Two fresh members who dived into venture as a student, how do they feel when looking back their decision-making?

Yohei
Honestly, I’ve dropped out the master course and put everything on the project at WARPSPACE.

On that premise, what comes up to my mind are two key factors for value of WARPSPACE, one is being startup, the other is being space-tech venture.

Since we are still early stage startup, we don’t have unreasonable rules like large enterprises have. Therefore, things are reasonable all the time and that enables us work flexibly. Of course, it brings a good performance.

This is really important thing for space tech startup which tries state of the art like us in order to make our own way and get closer to the goal.

Image for post
Image for post

(Go out to eat sushi for lunch using employee benefit given to him.)

Since I’m still young, I can try what I want to do or something gets me interesting. I think it is valuable age in my life.

(Pragyan)
I think of myself, “I’m in comfortable place”.
If I work as an engineer in general company, what I could do is just a small part of entire system. Then, that makes me feel, “my skill is just piece of whole”.

But a job I’m assigned here at WARPSPACE is entire system. The thing is to achieve the purpose no matter what the measures are. I can work on my job through try & error with study. That makes me feel fun and good thing for me.

Proper position is required in order to take responsibility for entire project from beginning to the end generally, but I can’t manufacture.
Current environment, such as space-tech venture, startup, affords me to do both management and development.

On top of that, being able to work near superman, Nagata san is also great thing for me.

Image for post
Image for post

”CTO Nagata san is my admire as a member of Yui project”, he says.)

ー The personnel like Pragyan, who has high language ability and development skill, seems to be a high caliber for space industry.

Pragyan
Recently, I sometimes attend the meeting with foreign companies regarding sales and others. In that case, I need to understand terminology to communicate.

I feel that communication ability with engineering knowledge is necessary.
I like development, so I would someone who are good at both business and engineer to join our team.

Yohei
In terms of language ability, I suppose that most of engineers in Japan are not good at second language, but on the other hand, anyone would be able to communicate.

I think the most precious thing is probably to try something new regardless of engineering, business, and communication.

Of course person who already has ability like Pragyan does are necessary, but I would like people, who are cut out for startup, have challenge spirit and capability to see from variety of perspective, to join our team.

In the end, we talked about “Compass of Behavior”, the action principle of WARPSPACE.

Our Compass of Behavior
01. Leap
02. Goal oriented
03. Decide with fact
04. Chase one chance
05. Resilient spirit
06. Respect your crew
07. Love family
08. Adventure
09. Be attractive

5.The most important item

Can you tell us what is the most important for you?

(Pragyan)
For me, “09. Be attractive” is most important.
When I go visit the exhibition, I often feel the design and technique of presentation are important.

No matter how great they do, they can’t get others to understand their attraction without considering the design or playfulness.
Our red satellite, WARP-01, was good way to get people know its existence. So that I think an attractive way of showing is important.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

(It was them who were particular about the color of satellite.)

(Yohei)
The most important thing for me is, “02. Goal oriented”.
Act for our goal all the time, this is the fundamental of every action.
For example, “01. Leap”, “08. Adventure” are really good to me, but we need to take a leap to get close to our goal, and go on an adventure to achieve our goal.

“Is what I’m doing directed towards the goal?”

The smart way to proceed the projects is considering ideas or alternative measures with keeping this on each mind.

Thank you for reading. To be continued.

We are startup company started as a project in University of Tsukuba, 2011. We will provide the optical telecommunication service with LEO Sat operator by 2023.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store