“I personally like giving everything a shot!”
This is Patrick Dumond’s life philosophy, a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering who believes in mixing passion and risk-taking in all his endeavours. So far, he has successfully applied this recipe in his student life and his entrepreneurial initiatives.
Dumond relates the story of his entrepreneurial ventures and his student life
What has led you towards the path of entrepreneurship?
I think I have always been interested in developing new ideas and new methods. There is something absolutely satisfying when success comes from something that is entirely your own.
As a student, you have received several awards. Can you tell us more about these achievements?
I received a 1st place finish in “3 Minute Thesis”, 3rd place in “Chef de File 3.0”, 2nd place at “SAE Supermileage” and an honourable mention for my work as a teaching assistant as reflection of the great people who surround me, whether it be my colleagues, my friends or most importantly my family. They give me unconditional support and they are the reason I achieve my goals. I also had the honour of receiving these awards because of the Faculty’s support of experiential learning and the people who have given me the opportunity to participate in these activities and competitions. As Wayne Gretzky once said: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”, and I personally like giving everything a shot.
So far, you have been involved in many student competitions. Can you describe these activities and tell us what drives you towards them?
Competitions drive me! I have a very competitive nature. This doesn’t mean that I must win at all cost, but I do enjoy the intensity. It’s like the saying goes: “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end”. When I was young I was very shy and ever since I started university I’ve tried to practice my presentation and soft skills. I think “Present Around the World”, “3 Minute Thesis”, numerous conferences and my work as a teaching assistant are all avenues I used to improve these skills. Other competitions such as “SAE Supermileage” and “Chef de File 3.0” were great ways to put into practice engineering and entrepreneurship learning, and to gain vital knowledge outside classrooms. They were also a great way to make new friends, but most importantly, to have fun.
Can you give us an idea of your current research?
My current research is a perfect example of how passionate I am about many things. As young as I can remember I have been playing around in both my grand fathers’ wood shops, I discovered in 4th year that my favourite engineering subject is vibrations and I like to think I can play the guitar. Thus, my research is on incorporating acoustical consistency in manufactured wood guitars. I spent a number of years looking at the effects of brace shape on the natural frequencies of the guitar’s soundboard and then developing methods for designing the braces based on desired natural frequencies. More recently, I’ve had the pleasure of validating these models and methods experimentally.
How do you juggle your studies with entrepreneurial activities?
Honestly, I don’t know. I guess when you are passionate about what you do then you find time to do it. I would say that all these activities are my hobbies, so I try to find time to do all of them. I also have my wife to thank, who more recently has helped me focus on what I really want to do. Left to my own devices, I would likely forget to sleep (although I really do like sleeping).
What’s next for Patrick Dumond?
I am currently considering a life of academia. Over the years, I’ve had lots of great ideas of things I want to do and being a professor offers me the opportunity to be as entrepreneurial as I want, while giving me the stability and benefits important to a family life. And although I am passionate about many things, my number one priority is always my family.
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