From business analyst to DL engineer in robotics
Ekaterina Dorzhieva, 2022 MSc in Space and Engineering Systems | DL engineer in Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Meet Dorzhieva Ekaterina, who used to be a business analyst, but found her real passion in robotics. Enjoy a story about how she came to her dream job.
Skoltech journey
Skoltech helped me to change my life completely and start a career as an engineer. It offers education on an international level, and when I was at the conference I realized that we were doing really cool things in the lab. Another value of Skoltech is the community that stays with you even after you graduate.

I finally decided everything for myself when I came to the Open Doors day and then on an excursion to the laboratory. I prefer practical work, and Skoltech has good laboratories with expensive equipment for scientific experiments. There is a completely different approach to learning than at usual universities. Sometimes I miss Skoltech and my team.

The program focuses on developing the Engineering Systems students' critical skills, understanding, and mastery to lead and shape up the digital transformation of industries and the development of cyber-physical systems, aerospace, and high technology industrial products in all fields on Earth and in Space.
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career journey
I used to be a business analyst, but I always felt that I was not doing what I liked. Now I am a DL engineer in robotics and there is no such feeling.

Now I work in the Laboratory of Wave Processes and Controlling Systems at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT). Our team aims to develop a new generation of anthropomorphic robots that can become effective human assistants in the medium term.
a few words about my job
I am developing a legged robot control based on the reinforcement learning method. In addition to the humanoid, we also test control algorithms on other legged robots, and the work cycle goes something like this: train agents in a simulation, test in another simulation, transfer control to a real robot, repeat. The funniest moments happen during the live test phase, when we push and kick the robot to test the robustness of the control.

At the moment I have 6 publications, one of which is at A* level. Also, in the MIPT team, we spoke at the AI Journey 2022 conference about the results we have achieved in the area of intelligent control. We even demonstrated a walking bipedal robot dog with RL-based control!

important work skills
In my work it is very important to be able to transfer work from a simulation to a real robot, because problems inevitably arise at this stage and identifying them is the most difficult part of the work. I'm just at the beginning of my career after graduating, so I can't say for sure what's good :)

But I can say that the most important skill in any job is continuous learning and the ability to critically evaluate your results.

career plans
There are not many deep reinforcement learning engineers in Russia, and I want to become a real professional in this field. Intelligent control methods are able to "climb into the corners" of the robot's dynamic capabilities and use the platform provided to them as efficiently as possible. This is one of the most popular waves in robotics and I am trying to stay on it to be able to teach any robot the right actions in the shortest possible time.
advice to students: what steps need to be done during studies to get a job after graduation?

Work more on projects, they will be useful for your CV and will be looked at by an employer if you do not have industrial experience. It's better to start interviewing at an early stage. This will help you to understand what gaps you need to fill and, most importantly, to define your expectations of the job.

and now about Skoltech
We are Skoltech. A new type of university in Russia, established in 2011 in collaboration with MIT with the vision of being a world-leading institute of science and technology. From the zero stage, Skoltech has rapidly advanced along the way towards a top-100 young university recognized globally by Nature Index.
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