November 30, 2020

Meet Cohort One: Jamie, Yingyu, and AI at Spartan Controls

From over 550 applications, we are pleased to welcome the first cohort of ground-breakers and algorithm-makers from the 8 interns in the Applied AI Lab. This week we are showcasing our last group of interns, Jamie and Yingyu who are working with Spartan Controls, and taking a deeper look into AI at Spartan!

Meet our Interns

Jamie Owen 

I am really excited for this fantastic opportunity to be working in the AltaML Applied AI Lab as a Machine Learning Developer. I graduated from the University of Calgary with my bachelor’s degree in 2016. I completed a double major in Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, with a concentration in Cryptography. Mathematics has been a passion of mine since an early age, and I didn’t think twice about studying it at University, however Cryptography really opened my eyes to the applications of math and got me very interested in algorithms.

Upon graduation, I began working in the automotive industry, and decided to teach myself programming in my spare time. I soon realized that I could automate many parts of my position, and once done that, I transitioned into a new position with the same company, automating and streamlining processes throughout many departments.

It was around this time that my interest in algorithms and my new love of programming led me to learn about data science and machine learning, and I went about teaching myself everything I could to get into this field. In September, I began the graduate program in Data Science and Analytics at the University of Calgary, and I intend to graduate with my master’s next year. To compliment that experience with working in the Applied AI Lab is beyond exciting. This is an incredible opportunity, and I feel very fortunate to be learning so much from our mentors and others within the company.

Yingyu Zhu

I am a Machine Learning Developer at AltaML’s Applied AI Lab, and I enjoy using my skills to contribute to solving real-world ML problems. My educational background includes a BSc and an MSc in Mechanical Engineering.

My passion for machine learning and AI began while I was pursuing my Master’s degree at the University of Calgary. My research focused on solving optimization problems in industries, which allowed me to get exposure to the skills and knowledge of statistics, mathematics, and predictive modeling. I found that applying machine learning and AI technologies is an efficient and intelligent way to solve challenging problems and applicable in various industries. I started learning data science skills, working on ML projects, and decided to pursue my career in this field. After graduation, I worked as a data analyst in the medical device industry to develop data analysis and applied ML skills. I realized software development skills are also important for being an ML expert. Then, I moved up to software developer to improve my programming and development skills.

I am excited to join the Applied AI Lab and work with the industry partner, Spartan Controls, a leading industrial automation technology and solutions company in Western Canada. Working in the Applied AI Lab is a great opportunity for me to understand ML problems in industries and get hands-on experiences in providing ML solutions. It’s also a platform to communicate with many ML experts and get guidelines to achieve career goals in this field.

Digital Transformation, AI, and Spartan Controls

Our Digital Transformation

Spartan has been on a continuous journey to enhance our customer’s experience through empowering our people and driving innovation in everything we do.  Our Digital Transformation has been part of our ongoing Customer First focus, and relentless pursuit of delivering more quantifiable business value to the industries we serve.  Applying AI/ML technologies to both our internal business operations, as well as our customer’s operations, represents a big opportunity to raise the bar on new levels of strategic decision making, learning, knowledge capture and capacity for automation.

Solving Industries Toughest Challenges 

At Spartan, we are focused on solving some of the biggest industry challenges through the application of digital technologies, including AI/ML.  Advanced Analytics enable us to analyze problems to gain insights into solutions at an accelerated rate.  Further, AI is playing a key role in the next level of Industrial Automation. Online ‘Digital Twins’ are allowing for real-time optimization of industrial processes that improve the safety, production efficiency, reliability and environmental performance

Spartan in the Community

Our vision is “Creating a Sustainable Modern World with Innovative Automation”.  As such, we feel community engagement and partnerships are fundamental to our role.  For the last 58 years, we have formed partnerships with educational institutes, charities and other non-profit groups in order to enhance the lives of everyone in the communities we live in.  We are excited to be partners in the AI Lab and work to create opportunities for Albertans, while developing a pipeline of talent to meet the future challenges to solve. 

About the Applied AI Lab

The Applied AI Lab was created to accelerate applied AI development. The AI Lab is a collaborative industry-led initiative, partnering with ATB, Suncor Energy, Spartan Control, and TransAlta. It helps bridge the talent gap between academic and applied skills by providing interns with guidance and access to real business problems, data, and industry partners. Over the 3-year program term approximately 240 individuals will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in applying AI.

For more information contact:

Danielle Gifford, Applied AI Lab Manager

Email: [email protected] 

About Spartan Controls 

Spartan Controls is the leading provider of automation, valves, measurement, process control, digital transformation, and solutions in Western Canada. For over 55 years, Spartan has provided customers with high performance solutions, industry expertise, lifecycle support, and technical training — delivering value our customers want. Our automation solutions are used in all process industries including oil and gas, oil sands, mining, pulp and paper, power, pipeline, and municipal. We are dedicated to providing exceptional customer experiences and delivering superior business results where expertise and collaboration come together. For more information, visit www.spartancontrols.com.

For more information contact:

Spartan Controls, p: 403-207-0700,

e: [email protected]

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