Meet Anders Hedblom, Software Engineer
Anders’ education: Master of Science in Media Technology
What was the focus of your master thesis at Sectra?
My assignment was to look into and evaluate different methods of performing volume-based blood vessel segmentation on CT images, concentrated on the head and neck regions. Blood vessel segmentation is a valuable process that allows doctors to examine the vessels more thoroughly by virtually removing surrounding and obscuring tissues. We wanted to be able to perform segmentation for single computed tomography data volumes to minimize the number of necessary CT scans, thus decreasing radiation doses. I spent a great deal of time reading papers on different segmentation techniques and conducting image processing in MeVisLab.
What is your impression of the time you spent at Sectra doing your thesis?
Doing my thesis project at Sectra was really great. The thesis period is a very valuable time where you are given the opportunity to experience life at a real workplace. It also gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your skills without the fear of failure, which really stimulates creative thinking. My task was far more challenging than expected, but this also pushed me to do my best. Working alone was sometimes difficult, but my supervisors were always there if I needed any help or someone to discuss ideas with.
Gaining a perspective on what doctors do and learning about the challenges they face in their everyday working lives made me realize that I was doing something important and useful to other people, like saving lives. That is a great feeling.
What did you enjoy most?
I like to be creative. One of the best things about working on my thesis was that I was given completely free hands to investigate approaches that seemed interesting and feasible. Moreover, I learned a lot about medical technology. Gaining a perspective on what doctors do and learning about the challenges they face in their everyday working lives made me realize that I was doing something important and useful to other people, like saving lives. That is a great feeling.
Tell us about your progression from master thesis to permanent employment. What is your current work assignment?
When my thesis project had reached its conclusion, I still had some time left at Sectra, during which I helped with some programming tasks. After this, I was offered a summer position extending over a few weeks. Following this period at the company, I felt that I really enjoyed working at Sectra and decided to apply for permanent employment. I completed a few interviews and subsequently became part of Sectra Ortho, as a Software Engineer. Our department specializes in creating efficient orthopaedic preoperative planning tools, both for 2D and 3D images.
How would you describe Sectra as a workplace?
The outstanding feature of Sectra as a workplace is the employee spirit. Everyone is extremely ambitious, but not in a competitive manner—helpful and talented colleagues are always just around the corner to help you solve a problem. There is also a great sense of self-belief, because everyone is given the chance to show their creativity and do things they feel passionate about. Sectra employees are also always encouraged to develop their own skills and the skills of colleagues.
Why should a person apply to do a master thesis assignment at Sectra?
Firstly, I think it is more beneficial to do a thesis project in association with a company rather than a university, since it provides better preparation for a future career. Whether you want to work with programming or research, Sectra offers so many options for a thesis project. It gives you the opportunity to work with truly skilled people and really challenge yourself. It is also a great way to gain a foothold in the company—Sectra has a great reputation, and having completed a thesis here is an outstanding merit to have on your CV.