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Meet Mateo Duren

September 18, 2023

Time to introduce one of our most recent new colleagues: Mateo Duren! He works at Coretecs as an Industrial Software Engineer, with a focus on AI. Mateo is still young, but already has a mature mindset and professionalism beyond his age. His strong technical background blends perfectly with his passion for AI and machine learning and his down-to-earth perspective.

Introducing Mateo

Mateo started his studies some seven years ago, with a hands-on degree: industrial engineer (electromechanics). After learning so many technical aspects, he decided to follow an Advanced Master in AI at the university of Leuven because he was keen to work more digitally. Between his studies and his start at Coretecs, Mateo worked as a digital project engineer focused on database management. It was an excellent stepping stone where he learned a lot, about the value of documentation, for example. However, he was ready to work more with data and AI.  

When he let it be known to the world that he was looking for a new opportunity, not one or two, but three (!) of his former colleagues turned out to be working at Coretecs. Mateo only had to follow their example! Of course, he first checked whether our team would suit him, but he was soon convinced by the atmosphere and team spirit.

Mateo: "I immediately felt that the team was close-knit, almost a brotherhood. Moreover, they seemed to have a work-life balance that suited me, as well as a forward-thinking mindset. Everyone is passionate about optimising processes and goes the extra mile to develop amazing and practical solutions. That was a perfect fit for me."

Industrial software engineering meets AI and machine learning

As an Industrial Software Engineer, Mateo mainly creates frameworks so that applications can run (more smoothly). When the industry approaches us with a question, Mateo first delves into the available information. He analyses the question and the problem to see if we can make what the customer needs, and to decide on the best way to tackle things.  

If you look at his projects, they can be quite different. For example, one is a pure AI project, while another involves setting up a new database framework. We asked Mateo if he had a preference and he smiled and shrugged:

Mateo: “I prefer working with AI, but I have more experience in database management. So, one’s cooler and the other’s easier. I guess balance is key. If anything, the most important part is the team. We are always involved in each other’s business, help each other out and think together … That makes any project an interesting and enjoyable one.”

The most important thing Mateo learned at school and still applies in his daily work is his process and thinking pattern. It has been ingrained in his mind from day one. Every project starts with analysing and understanding the question. Only when you have a clear picture of that and have set the parameters, can you start making and implementing solutions. You know what is interesting to test and what is not, what is worthwhile and what is not. Finally, you can prove what deserves investment and what does not.

Healthy scepticism

Mateo is a little sceptical of terms like Industry 4.0, he admits. Not because he doesn't believe in it, on the contrary. He thinks everything can be automated. But whether everything should be automated is the question. Moreover, he is aware of society's lingering 'fear' of AI and machine learning. But the biggest fear people have? The price tags.

Mateo: “We notice people are keen on connectivity and data analysis, but not so keen on investing. It’s one of the reasons why we make it our business to show them the added value of connectivity and gaining insights in your data. Sometimes we need to test things internally before we can show proof, but I see that as a win-win as we’re often optimising internal processes anyway.”

The nice thing is that the industry continues to evolve. Mateo acknowledges that too. He enjoys discovering new things or tools and trying to figure them out. Mateo's favourites to explore right now are Neural Networks, to digitise human thought processes. Why? It's easy to implement, he explains, and it produces fantastic results. But it does require lots (!) of data. It's a great way of supervised learning, though. You know which parts of the tool's results are good or bad, and you keep training it. Take self-driving cars, for example. In order to work properly, they need perfect lane assistance. That's where image recognition comes in. By comparing all the images, the machine can learn to understand hard lines and lanes and stay within them. That kind of project is really something for Mateo. You won't hear him being too sceptical about those tools, that's for sure.

Coretecs forever?

When we asked Mateo the main reason why he’d stay here or recommend Coretecs as an employer to fellow engineers out there looking for a job, he instantly talked about the team again. It’s the collegial atmosphere and the way everyone helps one another out that makes a difference to him. There’s no competition whatsoever to be found in our team, everyone has a helpful attitude and won’t rest until the best solution has been discovered.  

We also asked him if he had any additional words of wisdom to impart on potential new colleagues:

Mateo: “I truly experience Coretecs as a place where I can express my motivation and immerse myself in new technologies and abstract theories. I see and feel myself and my knowledge improving. Coretecs truly aims above and beyond the standards.”

Terrific to have you here to continue to aim higher and higher, Mateo!

Getting to know Mateo has been a Iot of fun so far. Someone who’ll learn a lot but teach us a bunch in return. Triggered to maybe get in touch and join our team as well? Let us know – we'd love to be introduced to you too!
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