Wrestler in the big-data arena

The wrestler in the big-data arena

Esmaeil is as cool as a cucumber. A pleasant companion, reserved and extremely polite. It is hardly conceivable that he is capable of knocking you off your feet with a few lightning-fast hand and foot movements. Esmaeil grew up in Kermānschāh, a metropolis in the north-west of Iran, which is the origin of some of the world’s best wrestlers. “For ten years, I have trained Greek-Roman-style, side by side with the greatest in this sport”, says Esmaeil. “But that was a long time ago.” At least as important as man-to-man combat on the mat to him, he has always been interested in working with numbers and algorithms.

He would only have to train harder in a tournament, as the perfectionist knows. At home, he was reminded of this constantly. “My daughter speaks three languages, Kurdish, Persian and German. All of them perfectly. And quite happily all at once”, says Esmaeil. This kept reminding him that he should continue to polish his own knowledge of German. However, he was lacking a little pressure as the IT scene communicated in English most of the time. But then, solving a problem by avoiding it is not in Esmaeil’s ambitious nature. “I registered at the Goethe Institute for the language course. Even though this damned grammar is really difficult. But I’ll master it.” No doubt. For Esmaeil, the wrestler, one thing applies also for the every-day challenges: Attack is the best defense.

One more thing

From a bank into the lecture hall

In Kermanshah and Teheran, Esmaeil studied software engineering and finished with a Master in IT Engineering in 2005. After that, he worked at a bank until he decided to continue his academic education and to graduate in Germany in 2016. Equipped with a blue card permanent residency, he moved to North Rhine-Westphalia with his wife and child to study at Siegen University, an interdisciplinary research university, and to write his doctoral thesis. “Finally, a new and major challenge”, he said excited.

“However, the thesis has slowed down a little since I started at EDAG PS in 2017”, he said, but did not seem to be really unhappy about it. “I am a true car fan and do not want to research sitting all alone in a quiet little back-room, but also to work for the industry hands-on and realise new ideas within a team”, he says, describing his dilemma. He was all the more happy when his professor understood his concern and told him that the academic path continued to stay open for him, also part-time.

When he applied for a job at EDAG, he secretly hoped to come to Fulda. Fulda was not so far from his doctoral thesis in Siegen and was furthermore manageable in size to settle in quickly with his family. “But, when I was told that I was not to go to Fulda, but to start immediately as data scientist at EDAG PS in Garching bei München, I became a little concerned. To me, Munich was always a bit too large, too expensive and too far away.” But that did not turn out to be correct. “Thankfully”, he smiles.

“In the Production IT Department of EDAG-PS we are only looking forward and keep our foot on the throttle at all times”, says Esmaeil. He was particularly fascinated about the continuous automation in production and the procedures via data processing. He is convinced that “there is a lot of potential for the future”.

A fright by the name of Munich

Wisdom of a perfectionist: if you do it, do it right

However, he does not make it easy for himself. Esmaeil is a perfectionist. “If I do something, I do it right”, he says. That is why I no longer play the tanbur, a long-neck lute typical in the Orient. “I would need too much time to practice. And I don’t have any fellow players around me either.”

So, he rather places his entire ambition into his work. He considers himself faced with enormous challenges as a data scientist in the automotive technology development. In the era of digitalisation and computerized production and processes change almost every six months. “In IT, we are therefore constantly challenged to stay up to date and to check our systems and resources. It is just like wrestling. You always have to be highly alert and quick to react. He who sleeps has already lost”

He who sleeps, loses

The rule for data scientists was here quite simple: What ever you don’t know yet, you better learn as fast as possible. “This ‘law of nature’ in the digital transformation is vital.” The athlete in him loves this challenge. “Here in Garching, we are a great team, where software developers and data scientists work hand in hand with engineers and technicians. “Everything is always inter-departmental with the view beyond one’s own horizon.” He considers this to be the great strength at EDAG. “We have all skills in-house or in the various company departments. That is why we can act incredibly quickly and strongly.”

Working this way, parallel on various projects, is no problem for Esmaeil. “On the contrary, I like it very much.” This is why he participates in hackathons also in his spare time from time to time. Companies from a variety of industries invite respectively 100 and more IT specialists from all corners of the earth to jointly find a software or hardware solution for a problem during a playful design sprint event under incredible time constraints within 48 hours. Esmaeil has already taken part in a hackathon four times and has taken second place twice and third place once with an EDAG team.


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