Please Meet our New Life Sciences Product Manager for the Americas – Dr. Felix Tsui

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After 8 years on the Vicon Support team working directly with our customers, Dr. Felix Tsui transitioned in 2021 to a new role as Life Sciences Product Manager for the Americas. We caught up with Felix to learn more about his background and next steps as Product Manager.

1. Where did your interest in biomechanics and motion capture begin?

Midway through my undergraduate mechanical engineering degree, I saw a short video clip of a baseball pitcher wearing reflective markers and being tracked by cameras. Researchers were trying to explain what made this pitcher so unique and effective. From that point forward, I knew I wanted to be involved in this field. I finished that degree and the rest is, as they say, history.

2. What did you do before joining the team at Vicon?

I had just finished a Post Doc at Loughborough University in the UK where I had also completed my Masters and Ph.D. When I was doing my Ph.D., I considered myself the “Vicon guy” in my department. One day, I got a call because James May (formerly of Top Gear) was wanting to film an episode of his then-show called “Man Lab” in our sports hall. James wanted to do an analysis of the soccer/football penalty kick and called upon our biomechanics and sports technology expertise to help. I went down to the sports hall, set up our Vicon system and tracked James as he attempted his penalty kicks. I got about 3 seconds of TV time as it showed me processing his data. It’s funny, I still get random messages from friends new and old who view that episode for the first time and ask “Was that you?”.

3. What are you looking forward to in your new role?

I look forward to continuing to guide our products and help create applications that are not only extremely useful and powerful, but intuitive and efficient. On a personal level, I am eager to learn how to bring a product to market and be a part of all the nuanced conversations that go along with it – whether it be with our own teams or with our customers. I come from a research background, so I am also eager to use that curiosity to help drive our products forward.

4. How has your role on the support team affected your approach to the new Product Management position?

I think a critical component of Product Management is knowing the users and understanding their use cases and pain points. Having completed roughly 200 site visits in my 8.5 years on the support team, I have seen my fair share of labs – from capture volumes as small as a closet to ones spanning an entire basketball court, from rats to UAVs. When it comes time to curate a product for our customers, having this first-hand knowledge and experience is invaluable.

5. What does a typical day look like for you?

The Vicon Head Office is located in the UK, so this means a lot of early starts to make sure we can fit in our cross-team meetings and coordination. As those wrap up by mid-morning, I’ll start tackling my personal tasks. Depending on where we are in a product cycle, I’ll either be writing or reviewing requirements for a feature/product, feature testing, or creating/reviewing product documentation (e.g. user guides). We’ve been producing quite a few webinars and virtual conference presentations recently so I’m often busy preparing, recording or editing those materials. What I find most invigorating about being in Product Management is that on a daily basis, there are multiple opportunities to put on a different professional hat. Some days, I’ll be speaking to customers or meeting with our marketing team to strategize our next launch, while others are spent sitting down with our lead developer to review our backlog of bugs and feature requests.