Mozhdeh, the first FogGuru team member #girlpower

Hi Mozhdeh, would you please give a short introduction about yourself to our readers?

My name is Mozhdeh Farhadi and I come from Iran. I am Research Engineer at U-Hopper and PhD student in computer engineering. I did my Bachelor and Master in Tehran and worked for several years in industry in Iran; in spring 2017, I joined U-Hopper and moved to Trento, Italy.

Why did you decide to join U-Hopper?

In short, I wanted to experience more challenges! I had a permanent job position as a project manager in a reputable company in Iran, my earnings and position in the company was good, but I did not feel satisfied. I wanted to be involved in more challenging tasks and to experience working in an international context. Thus, I decided to start a PhD in another country. Hopefully, my husband is also an explorer and he encouraged me to apply for the PhD position offered by U-Hopper.

So you study in Trento university at the same time?

No, my university is in France! Well, I am a member of the FogGuru project, an European Industrial Doctorate project funded by the European Commission, and its goal is to train professionals in the area of fog computing. In this program, the student should spent the first year and half of her study in industry, which in my case is U-Hopper, and the rest in academia, which will be University of Rennes-1 and INRIA research center in France, for then moving to Valencia (Spain) for the last 6 months. In fact, I will leave Italy by the end of summer 2019 and then I will start my secondment in France.

What makes FogGuru project unique with respect to other PhD programmes?

The exciting part about FogGuru is its mixture between academia and industry. The FogGuru students have the chance to learn how things are done in a European company, which might be different from their past experiences. As U-Hopper is a high-technology company and has joint projects with both industry and universities, it is a great opportunity to learn more about both sectors.

Moreover, as a PhD student, it is important to identify real world challenges, U-Hopper works in IoT and big data analytics, so it is a great opportunity to have a realistic understanding about the current situation of IoT and big data and find problems to solve in this area.

How is it working at U-Hopper?

Despite the technological point of view which is very enriching, I would say you experience a warm and welcoming working atmosphere. It is not just about working, but about enjoying what you are doing. By weekly sharing your concerns about your current project with your colleagues, explaining your achievements, paying coffee as a fine and having degrees of freedom for your working hours are the things that makes your work experience at U-Hopper enjoyable. I remember various occasions in which my colleagues suddenly switched to English from Italian when they realized I wanted to just join a discussion about weather, food, football or something not necessarily related to work. These things gives you the feeling of being part of a team in which people care about each other.

Tell us more about your work at U-Hopper

The goal of my project is to make use of fog computing much easier for developers. If you are not familiar with fog computing, it is a middle layer between IoT devices and cloud servers. Fog nodes can be used to do some preliminary computation on the data received from IoT devices to enhance the services provided through the cloud. Currently, building an application which uses fog computing is not easy, because you have to start from scratch: our goal is to shorten the time and effort for developers to make use of this technology in their products.

On the other hand, we are trying to use Blockchain to provide a more secure experience for IoT applications in fog computing.

What’s your plan for your career in future?

It is a hard question to answer. I am not sure what will I end up doing after finishing my PhD. During my study, I will experience living in three different European countries, different working contexts, which I am sure will affect the decision about my future career. What I am sure, is that I want to work on something useful and to enjoy my job.

Alright, thank you and good luck!