June 27, 2018

 

 

Damien is a software engineer at TellusLabs. For the past 10 years, he was a researcher for the Department of Earth and Environment of Boston University, where he used remote sensing, time series analysis, and machine learning algorithms to tackle “big data” problems. At TellusLabs, he ensures that the stream of data that enters our models in Kernel never turns off, and continues to improve the way we process satellite and weather data. Outside of the office, Damien is a competitive ultimate frisbee player, and travels to several tournaments throughout the year.

When he started at TellusLabs, Damien jumped in head-first: after only two months of mentorship, he was able to learn the entire system and completely take over. “Shortly after, I had to be able to add a full historical dataset for 20 country/crop pairs for modeling, additional global coverage for those existing crops including 5 new crops for monitoring, and field-scale information for over 3,000 fields for our clients including several new higher-resolution sources of satellite data,” Damien adds. “Then, to make it worse, I spent several weeks chasing around a little gremlin in the machine preventing me from delivering all those data on time.”

Damien’s running start has only picked up momentum: currently, he is working on rewriting the underlying engine of how we read environmental data to produce insights in anticipation of operating globally at the scale of individual fields. Damien feels incredibly fortunate that he can work with maps every day in a meaningful context. “I see a lot of potential in what we can do and that opportunity is exciting to me. There are an absurdly few other companies that can do what we do with such a small but awesome group of people.”

Damien is the most proud of getting daily satellite and weather data streams for all of the crops of the whole planet flowing through our system every day. “At this point we have far more data than we know what to do with, and that is satisfying. We have the potential to be integral to the operations of large multi-billion dollar corporations as well as a single farmer. We aren’t there yet but we have a CEO who dreams big about going beyond the moon.”

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