Sometimes, at a young age, you just know what you’re meant to do when you get older.
Some people want to be an astronaut, some want to be a hockey player. But for Saeed Assarzadeh, he always knew he wanted to do something with science.
“When I was in high school, I was very interested in the course physics. I received top marks and realized I had the brain for science and math,” says Saeed.
After high school, he followed that passion and went on to get his BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, an MSc in Manufacturing Engineering from K.N. Toosi University of Technology, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from K.N. Toosi University of Technology.
He is also a licensed Professional Engineer of Ontario (PEng).
Fast forward to today, Saeed Assarzadeh is the Advanced Manufacturing Scientist, Product Innovation and Manufacturing Research, for the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (WAMIC).
Saeed leads and supports WAMIC’s technical team in the various applied research projects and technical services through which we enable industry innovation.
Some of his roles and responsibilities focus on leading the team in conducting operations such as 3D designing, 3D scanning, and 3D printing, all while working with different industry partners to solve their innovation challenges.
“Our team works with the industry partner to come up with physical solutions like design modifications, or process automation, to their innovation challenges,” says Saeed.
Currently, the WAMIC team consists of an associate director, a research program manager, two research scientists, including Saeed, one part-time research lead, two technologists (one mechanical and one electrical), four research associates (recent graduates), and five research assistants (current students).
The variety of roles and various levels of expertise and experience bring a wide breadth of knowledge to the table when it comes to brainstorming solutions for industry partners.
“Getting to work at Niagara College gives me even more experience in my field and allows me to work on projects every day that I am passionate about.”
– Saeed Assarzadeh, Advanced Manufacturing Scientist, WAMIC
A key part of his work is always staying sharp and being able to collaborate. He notes that this pushes him to stay innovative. “If people from different areas of engineering have a question, I always have some sort of answer, in manufacturing, or automation. I might not have all the answers, but I can always give them solid guidance and lead them towards suitable resources and help find the solution,” said Saeed.
If you ask Saeed if there is a typical day working in research and innovation, he will tell you that just doesn’t exist.
“The nature of research and innovation is not routine. A typical day can change depending on the project you’re working on, and every project is different. What you really need in this role is to be up to date on the latest technologies,” he notes.
“For me, I always need to self-study to learn something new. The value of working with a team like WAMIC is that I get to learn from other members of my team,” said Saeed.
Before he joined the WAMIC team, Saeed was a Mechanical Design Engineer for a large aviation company. Some of the things he did in that role were similar to what he does at WAMIC, so he had transferable skills which really helped him settle into the new role.
Prior to that, Saeed worked as an instructor in mechanical engineering in his home country of Iran, which has also helped him when teaching and mentoring the research assistants on the WAMIC team.
“The research assistants at WAMIC are really great. They are sharp, quick learners who have knowledge on topics that they are willing to share with me, which I always appreciate. These students are capable technically and with the equipment we have, they are getting hands-on experience,” he said.
“Any company recruiting potential employees is going to get great candidates who have had experience working with WAMIC. I have no worries that they will get great jobs once they graduate,” said Saeed.
Since coming to NC, he has finished a handful of industry visit projects, two of special mention are one with Niagara Composites and the other with Niagara Countertops.
With Niagara Composites, he helped reverse engineer on part of a wheel: “We worked on the design, final report and provided them with suggestions on 3D printing and marketing,” said Saeed.
On the second project, Niagara Countertops, he focused on scanning with the Faro Focus scanner. The research technologist created the raw scan file for Saeed, and he processed it to provide them a 3D digital model of the layout of the plant.
Currently, he’s working on a project where they want him to propose something that is injection mold-able for the parts, so he will likely have to modify the original design.
What he was provided was for 3D printing, but when it comes to injection molding for mass production, there are requirements for the design that need to be met.
“There are lots of other projects that are upcoming. We have some industry partners who are return customers looking for our team to work on the next iteration of a project, and some who are new, and we are starting from the ground up, which is always exciting as well,” said Saeed.
There’s always something new and interesting that Saeed gets to work on which makes him enjoy his job.
“Working in the research and innovation space is something I enjoy because I get to be at the cutting edge of technology to help industries advance their products. Getting to work at Niagara College gives me even more experience in my field and allows me to work on projects every day that I am passionate about,” said Saeed.
In his personal time, Saeed enjoys taking trips to the countryside, going to national parks, having picnics, kayaking, hiking, and biking with family and friends, especially during the summer.
“So far, I’ve found Niagara College to be a great workplace, giving me more opportunities to obtain invaluable experience by applying my knowledge and expertise on different applied industrial projects, which also helps promote the reputation of the College in industrial sectors,” says Saeed.
“It also provides me the chance to share my experience with students and new graduates helping them acquire the skills to land good careers in today’s challenging job market,” he noted.
If your business is wanting to work with Saeed and the WAMIC team, who specialize in engineering design, 3D technologies, lean manufacturing processes and additive manufacturing, learn more by visiting the website. We work with businesses to bring ideas to life, from concept through to developing working prototypes, utilizing leading-edge technology, including equipment and software.