Part of our success at Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions is that we love what we do. Our glass building houses more than 200 people who are committed to making people hear and be heard. Here’s one of them:
Henrik Fyrlund, Systems Engineer – has worked at Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions since 2010
Q: What do you do at Cochlear?
A: I work with the development and implementation of the Baha Attract System.
Q: Were you always interested in sound?
A: I have always been very interested in music. I learned to play the piano when I was five and the guitar when I was ten. From the point I became a teenager I was always in bands, rehearsing, playing, performing and writing songs. We had this studio where we recorded the songs, and I started becoming more and more interested in the technology of sound – the recording, the mixing and mastering. During my “rock star years” I’ve developed quite sensitive ears, to listen for good quality.
Q: You would think it was the opposite; that your hearing would be ruined by playing rock music.
A: I always wear ear protection. Always, always, always. Your hearing is so worth it.
Q: So how did you go from a promising music career to engineering?
A: I studied mechanical engineering at Chalmers University of Technology where I became more and more interested in the technology of sound. My dream was to work with sound and keep the music as a hobby. I knew I wanted to work at Cochlear so I applied for a job as CAD Constructor just to get my foot in the door. What’s so great about this company is that they really let you pursue your dream. They want motivated, skilled people to work here, so I was able to do my job and work with music in my spare time.
A: This year I took on a new role which meant responsibility for the Baha Attract System. For the past two years I have been involved in everything from the microphone in the sound processor, to the design of the implant magnet, to the patent registry of the Baha SoftWear Pad. The challenge with the external magnet in the Baha Attract System is that it needed to be comfortable to wear, let through the sound and NOT fall off. This meant measuring the exact pressure on the skin to find the “sweet spot”. I think we tested around 40 or 50 different types of material until we found one that fit all the criteria. The Baha SoftWear Pad might be one of the reasons the Baha Attract System has been so successful. The retention is really good – and people can wear it for a long time.
Q: Have you had the opportunity to meet people who use the Baha Attract System?
Yeah, I was lucky enough to meet the first people in the world that use the system. At first it was hard to believe that these people were hearing, thanks to the magnet I had a part in designing. I was really happy to meet them, and glad to see that the designs worked just as well as we had anticipated.
Q: That must have been a special moment.
A: The most powerful moment was when I met a patient in Melbourne, and got to sit in on her fitting session. When her Baha 4 Sound Processor was put on, she just sat there and quietly started crying. She was so, so happy because she realised she would be able to hear her children again. You could see it in her eyes; it was something that would change her life forever. I get emotional just talking about it. That’s an image I often go back to, in my head. We really do work with products that help to change people’s lives for the better. I mean, we don’t make luxury commercial goods. We fulfil basic needs – letting people hear again. And in the end, that’s what it’s really all about.