Ugochukwu Okechukwu is a Computer Science grad student at Georgia Tech and he is just about to finish up a Post-Bacc degree at Georgia Southern University in Mechanical Engineering as well (he already holds a BS in Physics from the University of Ibadan). Ugochukwu isn’t just thriving in academia. He’s also the a co-founder of Turbee, which revolutionizes delivery systems for individuals. Now that’s not all! He also runs a pitch event in Savannah and co-founded one of Nigeria’s very first mobile app companies. Read more about this book worm, researcher, builder, and young tech talent that Atlanta is lucky to have.
What are you currently working on outside of class?
Outside classes, the majority of my time is spent on research. I am currently working on research that aims to improve cloud robotic machine learning systems at Georgia Southern University. Such robots use computer vision to learn from their environments and can share the knowledge with other robots within their cloud network. The practical applications of such robots are vast and could include disaster relief, medical aid, or outer space exploration. My previous research involved creating a medical device that can be controlled and monitored by mobile devices.
What startup/tech projects have you worked on?
Several years ago, while still living in Lagos, Nigeria, I co-founded Servotronics Technology with my brother and a friend. At first we focused on building and training university students to use microprocessors, but soon we saw that the world was quickly adapting to mobile app technology. We taught ourselves mobile app development and re-launched as one of Nigeria’s very first mobile app companies. Today, we continue to create and maintain live streaming mobile apps for some of the country’s most popular television networks and radio stations.
Currently, I also serve as CTO for Turbee, and I consult with various other tech startups that are also seeing to use mobile technology. I am a coordinator for 1 Million Cups in Savannah, which is a program that connects and supports entrepreneurs every Wednesday morning.
What tech/tools are essential to you?
My top 3 tech tools are Xcode, Eclipse IDE and my iOS/Android mobile devices. These are very essential for me in my day to day work. However, for rapid prototyping of hardware, the Raspberry pi and Pcduino are top on my list.
What are your best technical or creative skills?
As an engineer, problem solving skills are a true necessity, even more essential than experience or knowledge gained from study or books. I’ve always tried to push myself to continue to grow as an engineer by approaching each problem in an innovative, and creative way. The ability to think outside the box and sole problems that you’ve never studied or encountered before is key when you’re working in the fields of science or technology. In research, unique thought processes and inventive ideas are not only significant attributes to have, but necessary.
What’s next on your list to learn?
For me, learning is a constantly changing daily process depending on what tools are required to complete my ongoing projects. I am constantly revolving my learning around Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Mechatronics/Robotics, Automation, Machine Learning, Computer Vision and Theoretical Physics. Although I find these fields highly fascinating, I enjoy combining them with one another and with other abstract fields.
Interested in working for a startup, mid-sized company, or a corporate giant?
Startups have a very special place in my heart, and there’s nothing like the thrill and responsibility of creating a new business to fill a societal need. My involvement with various startups, hackathons, and startup competitions like 3 Day Startup and Savannah’s FastPitch, has been integral to my development as an entrepreneur and technologist. My passion will always drive me to continue growing my startups and helping others build their own. Behind every startup is an idea that has the potential to dramatically improve the way we live our lives and alter the foundation of what we presently consider to be the status quo.
Post graduation plans?
After graduation from my Post-Bacc program in the next couple weeks, I look forward to focusing even more on growing Turbee. I also intend on focusing and continuously building my businesses and software engineering skills to adapt to today’s continuously changing technology. Later this year I will begin applying to Ph.D. programs in Mechanical, Electrical, or Computer Engineering with hopes of continuing cutting-edge research that may one day be able to positively impact the world.