Product Developer / CEO, Avice
Master of Engineering with First Class Honours
Bachelor of Engineering Technology
He has always loved electronics, says AUT engineering alumnus Parn Jones.
“When I was a child, I had an electronics kit and I spent many hours working on that and making things. I also loved pulling things apart, seeing how things work and making new things out of it. When I wanted to leave school in Year 12, I decided to study at AUT, so I enrolled in the engineering programme.”
It’s a decision he hasn’t regretted.
“My time at AUT was a good experience. While it’s totally different from school, it’s a very friendly environment, and the academic staff are friendly and help you along the way.”
Taking on postgraduate study
Throughout his seven years of study he got to see how AUT evolved as a university, Parn says.
“I came back to AUT after a year in the workplace and enrolled in postgraduate study in electronic engineering, under the supervision of Professor Andrew Lowe. He was my favourite lecturer, and I liked how he helped me self-manage and guided me through my research. I now use these valuable skills in my career now.”
For his master’s research, Parn developed a novel way to treat heart patients in a non-invasive way, working closely with the AUT Institute of Biomedical Technologies.
“Postgraduate study was a whole new level for me and at times quite stressful, but it was so worth it. It pushed me to self-manage, set my own goals and manage my time.”
While studying at the AUT Institute of Biomedical Technologies, Parn and some of his fellow students developed a wearable device that provides real-time and actionable feedback when lifting weights; an idea that soon inspired their start-up, Avice.
“Avice uses a novel, patent-pending sensor technology that has been proven to detect muscle performance failure, in real time. Our idea won a number of awards and received funding from AUT, Callaghan Innovation and KiwiNet. We’re currently collaborating with people around the world to license the technology.”
In addition to being the CEO of Avice, Parn is also supporting his former supervisor, Professor Andrew Lowe, as a product developer for a number of projects funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
“My work with Andrew is very similar to what I’ve been doing for Avice, and I’m particularly involved in problem solving and making sure that the technology works. I feel very lucky to be working with a bigger team, and it’s nice to have access to AUT’s facilities.”