Farewell ABB

(by Gonçalo Guerreiro)

In what felt like a blink of an eye since my last post, my internship at ABB through Blind Applying has just come to an end. The time spent at the Corporate Research Center in Krakow allowed me to have a glimpse into all the work behind innovation at ABB, meet great people, and have my first experience of full-time work.

The Project

I previously wrote about the project I was working on - developing a proof-of-concept for a “new” type of predictive controller. Before I left, I managed to have a working version of the software for the controller. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to proceed with testing it in real situations. The work I developed showed that the usage of parallel processing is likely to bring an improvement for this type of controllers but further testing will be necessary. I am happy with the outcome!

Final Weeks

My final week was particularly interesting. Besides giving the final touches to my project, I got to know more about its possible applications. Turns out that the type of controller I was developing is very similar to the ones used in ABB’s ENVILINE products. The ENVILINE consists of a range of devices aimed to reduce power consumption in railways by recovering some of the energy when the trains are breaking. It was very nice to see that my work was not very detached from real applications.



It is a very culturally-rich city, full of people from everywhere and overall a nice place to live. I definitely enjoyed spending this period living here and is for sure a destination to re-visit in the future!

What’s next?

After this short experience, it’s now time for me to “start” my career (maybe it has started already…). I am looking forward to starting working in engineering either in the Power/Energy or Transport industries in the near future. I have been sending applications for quite some time, attended interviews and will keep doing so until I find a nice fit.


I will be back home in Lisbon for now with two main purposes: to enjoy the sunny warm weather and explore another interest I had for some time now which are tech startups. By looking at the weather forecast, the first will be quite easy to achieve. About the second: I will be working part-time in a tech startup, mainly doing operations and business development and I am quite excited to see what this three-month-long drift from pure engineering will bring.

With these lines it’s time to say goodbye. I enjoyed sharing my experience with you all, I hope you enjoyed reading!

One week in Zurich

(by Gonçalo Guerreiro)

Hello again! I am on the final run of my internship at ABB in Krakow but it doesn’t mean things are getting less exciting. My project is going well and the weather is getting warmer, so enjoying the free time in the city is easier than before. I have just come back from a week in ABB’s Global Headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland and I want to tell you more about it.

As part of ABB’s Global Trainee Program, all Global Trainees are invited for a week-long event in Zurich. During this week they have the opportunity to learn more about ABB (history, business, values, etc.), meet senior leaders and of course connect with each other!

This event was going to happen during my time in Krakow and ABB invited me to attend it as well, as part of my internship. I was already happy with the opportunity before going but now, after returning from Switzerland, I am even happier.

It was a very intense week: The programme ran from 8:30 to 17:00 every day and we covered topics ranging from the “softer” ones, like Intercultural Awareness and Business Etiquette to some more technical ones like Internal Audit, Supply Chain Management and Accounting. We also had the chance to visit a couple of ABB factories in the area which helped me better understand some of ABB’s products and business.

Not everything was hard-work though. Every day, we either had networking Apéros (Swiss name for cocktail events), or nice dinners, or both combined.

Overall I had a very good time in Zurich. It was very interesting to know more about some operational departments of ABB. I was generally very impressed from the company’s culture, the amount of possible development opportunities and how enthusiastic and approachable most of the speakers were - it reinforced my opinion that ABB is a nice place to work. Besides the learning, I had the opportunity of getting to know an amazing group of diverse young people with whom I will keep in touch.

P.S.: Of course I didn’t forget to bring a load of Swiss chocolate with me!

Time flies… and things get done

(by Gonçalo Guerreiro)

I started my internship at ABB in the beginning of March and it has been an incredible experience so far. From the first steps in the office, to the opportunities of wandering around Krakow, a lot has happened and, as my project moves forward, I realised I haven’t shared much about it yet.


Since I joined ABB, I have been working to develop a proof-of-concept for a “new” type of controller. This means I am building a simple version of a controller to test the feasibility of a new approach. If successful, the technology can then be improved, scaled, and may be applied in future products.

What can it be used for?

Controllers are very common in today’s technology: industrial processes, automotive applications, aerospace industry, among others. They are capable of monitoring a system’s operation and control its future behaviour. The controller I am working with could end up being used in almost any application but, for now, the plan is to test it in a water-pumping system and in a servomotor to assess its efficacy.


Control has been around for quite some time and it’s widely used. The novelty in my project comes from the usage of parallel processing in a predictive controller. Predictive controllers calculate the input for a certain system by comparing its actual state to a programmed desirable behaviour in order to match them. Predictive control problems can easily become very complex and difficult to handle. However, it is very likely they could be solved more efficiently with the use of multiple processors rather than a single processing unit (the usual approach). This possibility has motivated my research and I have been exploring it for the past two months.

How am I doing it?

In order to develop the project I have been using as a main tool, one FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) in which I implemented a multiprocessor architecture. I am programming the system using the C language. While I was not a stranger to some of the tools / concepts I am using, the amount of learning  has been incredible.

The status

I am happy with the developments so far. I already have a basic working version of the controller and the next steps will be its improvement and testing in a real situation.

That was the sum-up of my project so far. I hope it has some appeal for the engineers out there and that I didn’t geekify it too much for the others!

Some other updates: I have just received a video camera from ABB to do some video diaries from my experience during the internship and next weekend I will be travelling to Zurich for a week of workshops at the global headquarters together with global trainees from all over the world. I will keep you in the loop!

The internship at ABB is on!

(by Gonçalo Guerreiro)

Just like a strike, my first two weeks at ABB Corporate Research Center (CRC) in Poland passed by. These were quite intensive weeks: from moving and settling, to finding my way around my new city, Krakow, and having my mind flooded with new information. A lot of things! Or at least it felt so.

I want to start by sharing how I got here because it was quite an unusual path of joining ABB (or any company by the way). Back in November, close to completing my master thesis, I was diving into the job-searching world trying to spot any opportunity that seemed like the way for me to go. I don’t remember exactly how, but I found the Blind Applying website and it was compelling. How did it work? 21 employers scattered around the world were offering internships and you couldn’t just pick one. You would submit your CV to the pool hoping for your profile to be matched with one of the employers for an available placement - that is if you would match at all. I decided to give it a try.

One day in December I got a phone call: ABB was interested in having a first online-interview with me! Fast forwarding, it seems I was a good match as I ended up here writing these lines, in Krakow.

My first weeks were an interesting experience. On my first day I was welcomed by one of the HR managers I had been in contact with prior to my start at ABB. I had a short training on the building safety procedures and some logistics of the daily life at the CRC with the office manager. Some data about R&D at ABB was presented to me, and I was introduced to my supervisor, Daniel with whom I spent a couple of hours talking about what would be my main task. Quite a day!

The days following my start have been more focused, and filled with challenges and learning. Even though I was not a complete stranger to the system I am working with, there is now a whole new level of complexity, functionality and, as a consequence, possibilities. I am surprised with my own evolution since day one and yet, only two weeks have passed.

The ABB research facilities are located close to the city center and this allows me to go every day for a pleasant walk while searching for a new place to enjoy my lunch break. I am kind of a foodie and Polish cuisine is another promising world to explore during my stay in Krakow. It seems very good and eating out is relatively cheap here.

During my first weekend, which was quite sunny and warm compared to the weekdays (like every weekend should be right?) I took the chance to wander around the city and get into tourist mood. Krakow is a beautiful city with nice people. I took the pictures below last Sunday at the Wawel Castle.

At this point my hope for the next weeks is for the work to keep being as challenging and full of learning as it has been so far and that my newly developed skills will eventually allow me to do cool things with my assignment. I hope to make some new local friends and to become able to understand some Polish words too - for now my vocabulary is non-existent.

The adventure has just begun!

We’ll keep in touch,