Rado Petrik - Sailing adventure powered by satellite communications

Added: Over a year ago by Cambridge Consultants

Rado Petrik is a Senior Consultant and Group Leader for the Embedded Software group in the Wireless and Digital Services Division.

I have worked at Cambridge Consultants for nine years and have developed some relationships with colleagues that I know will last a lifetime. Some people would see me as just a passionate software engineer, but I’m more than what meets the eye – a sailing enthusiast.

Outside of work, sailing has become a great hobby of mine. The flexible working benefit that CC provides has allowed me to leave work early on Thursdays and sail at nearby Grafham Water to practice and improve my sailing skills.

At Cambridge Consultants, a standard working week is 37 hours. However, there is a large amount of flexibility in start/finishing times to suit my personal life and a hybrid working model, which has given me the choice between working from home and office work (at my manager’s discretion of course). This has given me and other CC’ers an adaptable working style to pursue our hobbies and interests.

In 2019, I was given the opportunity to do a secondment in Seattle. I stayed in Seattle for two and a half years throughout the COVID pandemic. By living in a city surrounded by water, it gave me the freedom to sail when I wanted. The pandemic put a stop to almost everything, including the rental of vehicles and so this encouraged me to purchase my own sailing boat which I used for countless adventures exploring the Pacific Northwest.

At the end of my secondment, I decided to return to Europe by sailing across the Atlantic Ocean to Gibraltar. On my voyage, I was joined by three sailing professionals and two others. The expedition took around four weeks to complete. It went rather smoothly but there were some tricky moments, like when storms started brewing and a lot of quick thinking had to be made to get around them.

Luckily, we had three important devices on board to help us on our journey: Iridium Extreme Push-To-Talk (PTT) satellite phone, Iridium Go! and Delorme InReach. These enabled me to connect and use voice, text messaging, map and weather data via satellite, as well as providing SOS and GPS navigation. I helped develop software in all three while working on Iridium projects at CC.

Iridium is a global satellite communications company, providing access to voice and data services anywhere on Earth. The Iridium Extreme PTT is the first truly global ‘Push-To-Talk’ mobile communications system. I used this to stay in touch with my family during the trip. This was very important for me when I was struggling with sea sickness as it kept me positive through hearing my family’s words of encouragement. The Iridium Extreme PTT made our journey much easier and made me feel proud to have been exposed to and a part of such a great project.

Work is like a hobby to me. The flexibility in my job, the opportunity to experience a new city and the technology I have helped develop has made my working career at CC so far. I feel confident that another sailing expedition will be on the cards soon. Until then, I will work hard on improving the next technology that will make the voyage safer and more enjoyable!

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