Andrew Curran is an engineer, a scientist, and a freelancer. At the moment, he is branching out in his professional life to find the role that suits him best. Likely, it will contain some mixture of programming, data analysis, statistics, visualization, and communication, as these are all skills he highly values in himself and enjoys.
PhD in Auditory Neuroscience (Ongoing), 2020
Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg
M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering, 2016
B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, 2013
University of Toronto
Andrew’s primary focus at the moment is concluding his research into the effects of unilateral hearing deprivation on sound localization in juvenile subjects, and how they relate to stages of early-life development. He is currently preparing manuscripts based on this work, and hopes to complete this PhD in the near future. This work was completed in the working group Pathophysiology of Hearing under Dr. Maike Vollmer.
In his time as a researcher, Andrew has developed his sense for data pipeline development. He believes that software development can help us achieve not just faster, but more accurate and more transparent, analysis. He overhauled and streamlined the data collection and pipeline. Andrew has also advocated for clean statistical practices, and critically examines methodological measures. He also developed new user-interface systems for upcoming projects of other students, scheduled lab usage, and provided technical running support of the Tucker-Davis-Technologies/Matlab based set-up of the lab.
Concurrent to his PhD, Andrew is also an active participant in freelancing and volunteer positions. He provides advice on specialized analyses such as time-series analysis, multidimensional data visualization, and auditory brainstem potentials. He also consults on data pipeline optimization and data-scraping. Earlier, he was a representative of the PhD students of the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology in Magdeburg, Germany, where he and his fellow representatives developed a new PhD agreement, pushed for open and reproducible science practices, and were active in PhD finance reforms as well as general onboarding procedures for new students.
Andrew holds an M.Sc. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Fachhochschule Aachen, Germany, and a B.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto, although he strives to graduate his PhD from University Würzburg this year. He has lived in Canada and Germany and speaks both languages, English and German. His colleagues describe him as communicative, versatile, proactive, critical, and insightful.
Within the data services team, I provide data engineering support of user-visible systems in a test-driven manner. The team is constantly researching new technology developments that can be implemented in our systems to drive internal innovation.
I provide data science support to the DataLab branch of enpact, where we attempt to use data-driven approaches, combining governmental and first-hand data to inform and advise policy-makers on improving entrepreneurial outcomes in developing countries. This data is reflected by the Startup Friendliness Index. I examine the existing database and devise methods to improve indicator quality (in terms of automated extraction capability, accuracy, and representative-ness) by identifying the core message of each indicator, locating alternative measures, and automating the extraction of useful data. As a result, team resources have been diverted from manually retrieving and cleaning data and additional data and geographies can be easily supported. Responsibilities include:
I conducted basic research in Auditory Neuroscience in an animal model using electrophysiology. While my core project is described below, I also acted as lab manager, planned/performed ancillary experiments as requested by my supervisor, and provided technical support to colleagues and junior researchers. I also attended conferences to relay my results to both experts and laymen around the world. Responsibilities included:
Specialised Analysis methods include:
I designed jigs, stands, tables, and various tooling by modeling with SolidEdge, improvising, and incrementally improving past designs in order to facilitate quality and quantity of work created on all production lines. I performed calculations pertaining to solid mechanics, welds, and cost effectiveness in order to assist and cross-check design work by co-workers and myself. I managed production line lay-outs on AutoCAD and co-ordinated meetings between several departments in order to strengthen team communication involving trouble-shooting, process implementation, and incremental design improvements. I created various documents, including an Engineering Technical Report, by investigating physical circumstances and consulting hand-books in order to deliver information and specifications to company clients, vendors, and inspectors
Specialised Analysis methods include:
Many M.Sc. and PhD students in the lifesciences struggle with adapting to the programmatic demands of modern science. I hold regular workshops where we explore datasets collected by participants in a case-study format and examine the methods available to clean, preprocess, analyse, and visualize data.
Together with other elected representatives, we formed a council representing the PhD students to the faculty and Board of Directors.