Josh Lazaruk, systems team lead and onboard computer team lead, just finished his 4th year of Engineering Physics Co-op. According to Josh, the program is a dynamic duo consisting of the interesting and sometimes philosophical problems of physics, and skills that are directly applicable to industry.
Josh was first introduced to AlbertaSat in grade 12, when he heard about the launch of Ex-Alta 1. “I didn’t even suspect that that was something Alberta really had a stake in, or was doing, so that certainly inspired me to join.” Coming to the University of Alberta and seeing AlbertaSat presentations in-person sealed the deal for him. Josh started his journey in AlbertaSat on the admin team, before joining the technical team as a software member as well as leadership roles within the software team. Currently, he is a part of the systems team and has gone on to become the lead for systems and the onboard computer team of Ex-Alta 2. One of Josh’s favourite AlbertaSat moments was a secret meeting where he was asked to become a part of the systems team. “That was super exciting and it was very validating because it showed that my work was appreciated and that they also saw potential in me to do more, and not to be pigeonholed into a single area.”
The main thing Josh is working on right now is coordinating, arranging, and monitoring the execution of the assembly integration and testing phase for Ex-Alta 2, YukonSat, and AuroraSat. One thing about AlbertaSat that Josh appreciates is how similar the work is to an industry setting, especially being able to learn from failure, which is not as present in the classroom. Another advantage of being a part of AlbertaSat for Josh is meeting like-minded people, unified in their goal, helping bolster a sense of family and passion towards the mission and the project.
Over quarantine, Josh has demonstrated his drive for precision and physics by picking up disk golf. Moreover, he has interests in the arts, involving music, movies, books, and electronics. The latter is useful, as Josh finds that his electronics hobby has the power to make a potential difference in his work. Recently a Soren Kierkegaard quote stuck out to him when he was watching the movie Another Round: “to dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.” This seems fitting, as Josh is not short on daring: he has never said “no” to a new food or drink, with the strangest thing he has eaten being snake wine.
If Josh had the ability to meet anyone past or present, it would be to meet Barack Obama. Having frequently been exposed to the former U.S. president while growing up, he was inspired by Mr. Obama’s positivity about everything and appreciated how he was willing to sacrifice a lot to try and help others and make a difference in the world. Upon finishing his program, Josh hopes to get into something that has a large positive effect on mankind.
To new members, Josh recommends having an open mind and to always ask a plethora of questions. His advice to his first-year self would be to ask more questions and to trust his intuitions better, noting that sometimes it is easier to hold back thoughts or questions if you are not confident about what is being discussed, but that does not mean that people will not be open and supportive to hear what you have to say. Most people who are in a senior position are not scary, and opening up will help them understand your perspective.