July 21, 2020

Employee Spotlight: Matt Ford, Senior Developer, Machine Learning

Matt Ford, Senior Machine Learning Engineer, Protenus

Our mission at Protenus is to advance the science of healthcare by bringing together creative and skilled individuals who are passionate about the security, usability, and applicability of health data. As this information becomes more voluminous, comprehensive, and, as a consequence, more vulnerable, we are building scalable, insightful solutions that address critical issues preventing the efficient, safe, and effective delivery of patient care. 

Our team comprises a diverse group of people who come together to achieve this shared mission. To give a glimpse into our culture and highlight the diversity of our team, we’ve asked Matt Ford, PhD, PE, to share more about his experience working at Protenus. 

What’s your role at Protenus, and what do you do?

I’m an engineer who works with the privacy team to maintain the alert generator and improve its speed and accuracy.

What did you do before coming to Protenus? 

I worked in the oil and gas industry where I developed software to try to keep pipelines as environmentally safe as possible--trying to detect leaks and alert people quickly so that they could be remedied. I have degrees in chemical engineering and have done computer simulation and modeling work my entire professional career. 

I also worked as a science journalist--both before I got into the industry and while I was in the industry. When I got out of grad school, I missed interacting with people and talking about science, and I had friends who were working on what was then a small website. I wanted to keep communicating about science. We weren’t journalists, no trained background. It was just about finding cool science and sharing it with the world.  It was exciting getting to see that website grow to what it is now and the reach it afforded us.

What initially attracted you to Protenus?

I was looking for a new job and I happened to stumble upon it. I didn’t know the company, and it was a large change from what I had been doing. I met with people and found the work was interesting. 

Even though it was removed from oil and gas, it had some similarities. One of my last projects at my last job was building an application that used machine learning to detect pipeline anomalies, and while far removed from healthcare, there were surprising mathematical similarities that made me feel comfortable moving into this position. Once I arrived, however, it has been my coworkers and the company culture that have kept me here. 

I’ve been here for two years, joined after Mother’s Day in 2018. 

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since starting at Protenus?

The importance of the work we are doing. It was something I’d never thought of, having no healthcare background. Our work is key--I wouldn’t want someone out there rummaging through my intel. We’re trying to do good for the world. 

How has working at Protenus affected your career?

It’s been a total change of industry. I’d never worked in healthcare, never anticipated it, but the opportunity was there, and the tech was similar. It’s opened up different possibilities, allowing me to do similar work across multiple areas and industries. 

What has surprised you most about working at Protenus? 

Everyone here is happy. Everyone is generally glad to be here. I enjoy coming to work each day; it’s a far cry from some other jobs I’ve had. It’s a nice change. 

In 10 words or less, how would you describe the culture at Protenus? 

Outgoing and welcoming of introverts. People make you feel welcome.

View our Careers page if you'd like to see current job opportunities at Protenus.

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