Director, Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer, Avice
Master of Engineering with First Class Honours
Bachelor of Engineering Technology
How do you know that your weight training session is effective? That’s the question engineering alumnus Parn Jones and his colleagues from start-up Avice are trying to address.
“We’ve developed a wearable device that gives you real-time and actionable feedback when you’re lifting weights. Avice uses a novel, patent-pending sensor technology that has been proven to detect muscle performance failure, in real time. Our idea has already won a number of awards and received funding from AUT, Callaghan Innovation and KiwiNet.”
Parn and his fellow Avice co-founders came up with the idea while working on their research projects at the AUT Institute of Biomedical Technologies and are currently working with the AUT Ventures team to turn their idea into a finished product.
“I’ve always wanted to be part of a start-up company, and I appreciate how AUT supports start-ups and entrepreneurs. Without the AUT Ventures team, we wouldn’t be where we are. They have been amazing in helping us get exposure for our product and providing extremely valuable resources.”
A love of electronics
He has always loved electronics, says Parn who is now Avice’s chief technology officer.
“When I was a child, my parents gave me 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, my parents suggested that I 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 Associate 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 running Avice.”
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, manage my time and helped prepare me for setting up Avice.”