Gavriil (Electronic Engineering 1998) is a 2023 national winner of the Study UK Alumni Award (Greece) for Business and Innovation. He is currently Project Development Leader for ATOS, leading four teams across five countries on innovation and monitors the progress of the software development process for the SIP VoIP Telephony devices.
Gavrill graduated with a BEng in Electronic Engineering in 2002 and an MSc in Digital Electronics in 2003. He has worked in telecommunications throughout his career and in his current role he is also the patents/ innovation leader for his team, focusing on innovation in the field of public safety and security. Recently, Gaviil secured his first patent, which is designed to help emergency services respond and communicate in catastrophic events.
How did you get started in your career?
I started my career 17 years ago as a Quality Assurance Engineer in Siemens S.A, in the department of Telephony Call Centers. Five years later I was part of a team that had an objective to create a new department in Athens, which would be responsible for the quality assurance of the company’s telephony devices. After eight years, the company was bought by ATOS, and the team was transformed to a more hybrid team in terms of tasks and objectives, with quality assurance the main task.
I eventually moved to the position of Project Development Leader, where I am responsible for the planning, coordination and monitoring of the software development process of different teams in a multinational environment.
What made you choose Sussex?
Back in the late 1990’s I had a friend of mine who was studying at Sussex so the undergraduate guide came into my hands. As I read about the courses and the various schools, I was amazed by the detail of information provided and by the place. Coming from a small city in the northern part of Greece (Veria), a place like Brighton and the Sussex campus, looked extraordinary to my 18-year-old eyes.
What was it like studying at a UK university as an international student?
It was really easy to blend in. From my first hour as a university student, until the last day, I was always feeling like a member of a big family. Even when I had an unfortunate accident in my second year, the University was by my side and fully supported me. So, I never felt like a foreigner, neither in Sussex nor in Brighton in general.
Although I failed more than 10 times before the success, it felt really good when my first patent application was accepted, especially because the whole idea is focused on public safety."
Where was your favourite place on campus?
I have two in my heart, and I cannot distinguish between them. Firstly, the third Engineering building (John Clifford West nowadays), up in the hill, within the forest and amongst many squirrels. And second the Library, which was always a meditation place for me.
What do you love most about your job?
Talking daily with people from four different countries across Europe, and also that my job is about connecting people with a side focus on the sector of public safety and emergency services.
What achievement in your career are you the most proud of?
In 2021 when I successfully filed my first patent application in the European Patent Office. Although I cannot disclose many technical details, I can say that it was the design and usage of a machine learning algorithm, that can drastically reduce the response time of first responders during huge catastrophic events. Although I failed more than 10 times before the success, it felt really good when my first patent application was accepted, especially because the whole idea is focused of public safety.
Where’s your favourite place in the world?
Toledo in Spain, Edinburgh in Scotland and Brighton in England. In no particular order, because I have good memories from all of them.
What was your biggest takeaway from studying at Sussex?
Critical and innovative thinking through the coursework and lectures. I was fortunate to have some exceptional professors and now that I’ve grown up, I feel lucky and honored that I was taught by those people. They shaped my thinking, and it’s something that I took away and I am using almost daily in my job.
What advice would you give to current Sussex students?
Enjoy your university years as much as you can. Enjoy both your academic life as well as the social part of those years. It was the best years of my life and if you manage to balance academic life and social life you will have a fantastic period there.
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