‘My name is Huub van der Gulik. I am twenty years old and I live in Kampen. I’m currently a third-year mechanical engineering student at the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. Over the course of the next six months, I will be conducting research at Tembo. Firstly, I will trying to determine what causes wear and tear to the pucks of a machine. Using the outcome of this research, I will be investigating what options there are to validate specific wear and tear to the pucks online. In addition to successfully completing my research, I hope to be able to learn a lot and gain new experiences during the next twenty weeks.’
Why did you choose to study mechanical engineering?
‘I’ve always had an interest in engineering. By visiting several open days at a number of different colleges, I was able to filter out most programmes. In the end, there were two programmes left that I had to choose between. I took a gamble and opted for mechanical engineering, mostly because of its high versatility and many specialisation options. The gamble paid off in the end.’
What are the fun and less fun aspects of your work/internship?
‘First off, I enjoy learning new things. My research here is very practical, something none of my other projects have been and which I am still getting used to. As a result, I am learning a lot of new skills, although it also makes the research more challenging. On top of that, my assignment allows me to work on my own. I personally quite like this.
Finally, my degree enables you to work across a wide range of industries, which is something you can also see within Tembo. This gives you a lot of freedom to choose what you would like to be doing. By experiencing many different industries, you also come into contact with a lot of different technologies and innovations that you can all learn from.
Regarding the programme in a broader sense, I most enjoy the designing, calibrating and simulating (parts of) machines, although this won’t or will hardly feature during my internship. Documenting the justifications of my choices is the aspect of this work I least enjoy, although it’s important to do so.’
Would you choose the same profession again?
‘At the moment, I would. Perhaps I would approach the first part of the degree a little differently if I did it again. Aside from that, this degree provides a lot of options in terms of the professional field you could end up working in, as well as in terms of your role within that field.’
What are the most important qualities you need for this work?
‘As previously stated, being able to work alone is useful. Since you are largely left to your own devices about how to go about your assignment, you have to make sure to effectively manage and define the framework of the project. This is something I still find difficult to do, since it can change the results of the project somewhat. Finally, it is important to be able to think analytically and support your choices well in this degree. I feel like I’ve had this under control lately.’
Can you tell us something about your role as the chairman of the Engineering & Design education committee?
‘Education committees make sure that the quality of education is maintained, and where possible, improved. They do so by offering advice. Annually, we advise the education manager regarding the education and exam regulations (the rights of a student) for the year to come, covering such topics as mistakes, the equal treatment of students, fairness, etc.
An example would be the standards you have to live up to in order to do an internship or graduate. There are also a number of points that the education committee has to agree with. If we do not agree with them, they need to be changed, or a comprise needs to be found.
On top of this, we offer advice to the education manager concerning educational changes outside of the scope of the education and exam regulations. We also try to improve matters that are not working well. As the chairman, you are responsible for creating the agenda, leading the meetings, and conversing with the other education committee and the education manager.’