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Elevate Fellow succeeds with a dream

Mitacs Elevate Fellow, Kinfe Tadesse Mengistu has come a long way (literally) to get to where he is now. And congratulations are definitely in order as Kinfe starts his new position as speech scientist for Nuance Communications, a company he’s always dreamed of working for.

Kinfe is quick to acknowledge the role that Mitacs Elevate played in acquiring his new role.

“The Elevate program definitely helped in finding my new position. It helped me network and communicate better. The Mitacs Step and Elevate workshops I attended helped me build effective connections, and perform well during the interviews I had towards my dream job. Also, the interactions I had with my industrial partner were fruitful and developed further as we worked together.”

Hailing from Ethiopia, Kinfe studied Information Science at the School of Information Studies for Africa (later known as the Faculty of Informatics in Addis Ababa University) and graduated with a Master’s of Science in Information Science. He went on to be a lecturer at his alma mater until he moved to Germany to pursue his Ph.D. in engineering at Otto-von-Guericke University.

During his Elevate fellowship, Kinfe worked with the Department of Computer Science in the Computational Linguistics research group at the University of Toronto and partner company, Soligsoft Inc., a private Canadian corporation that researches, develops, promotes and markets software and other resources for learning and teaching languages.  

The research project developed the first part of a two-way automatic speech-to-speech translation system for use in the healthcare industry between English and Inuktitut, a Canadian indigenous language and an official language of the territory of Nunavut. Spoken dialog translation systems have a wide range of potential applications including defense and security services, travel and tourism, language instruction, government services, humanitarian aid and customer service.

We wish Kinfe all the best with his new job!