Thursday, May 19, 2016

Google and Medtronic

Today we made our much-anticipated trip to Google and Metronic.

Today we made our much-anticipated trip to Google and Metronic. This was everyone's first times at a Google location, and it did not disappoint. Arriving in the reception area of Google, we could already see the laid back atmosphere of Google, as right next to the receptionist’s desk was a tire swing. Naturally, a few of us gave it a whirl.

Our host was Dr. Dominick Ng, who had completed his PhD in Artificial Intelligence, and started at Google shortly after. On our tour of Google, we learned that Google Australia has over 1000 employee, 400 of which are Engineers. Google Sydney was actually the birthplace of Maps, something many of us on the trip miss dearly, as we are forced to learn the valuable skill of navigation. Maps remains the biggest area of Google Sydney since its inception and has no plans of slowing down. Here is what one of the Google maps bicycles, which goes where cars cannot to take pictures of trails, looks like:

Dr. Ng specifically works on security at Google, giving us information on how Google Chrome manages to be one of the safest browsers on the market. Dr. Ng proceeded to take us on a tour of the Google office, it was really quite fantastic. He joked that in Google you’re never more than 30 meters away from food, and he was absolutely right. They had state-of-the-art kitchens, game rooms, and their own baristas. As Dr. Ng took us out onto the terrace of the cafe, overlooking the Sydney Harbor, Google really did live up to its reputation as the dream company to work for.

Our final stop of the day was Medtronic—a company founded in Minnesota, now with over 250 facilities worldwide. Medtronic engineers medical equipment all over the board, from pacemakers and shunts to neurological stimulation probes.

Our host, Brendon Reed, is a specialist in Cardiac devices, particularly pacemakers and ICD or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, both of which regulate heart beats with abnormal rhythms. We learned the history of ICDs in Medtronic, and how much the technology has advanced, from 1989 to 2005, the device saw an 83% size reduction, from a device so large it had to be implanted in the abdomen, to the now 36cc device which has a battery that lasts up to 20 years. Next, we experienced the Catheterization lab in Medtronic where Dr. Reed showed us how a pacemaker is inserted through the vein. A member of our group even got to try her hand at a catheterization, she did so well in fact, that Dr. Reed suggested a career change to medicine.

We ended our night at the Rocks where some of us ate some kangaroo pizza and watched the sunset at Sydney Harbor.