Last summer Michiel van de Beek started his thesis at Eurailscout. The picture-perfect moment, featuring a curfew, working from home, and starting his first day with the ‘First official snowstorm in the Netherlands in more than 10 years’ – tremendous when you were planning on visiting the workshop. This is the story of Michiel about writing his thesis at Eurailscout.
Challenge number one was to get to know the colleagues and the company. Whilst working from home you do not bump into a colleague on randomly, you must insist on it. Michiel explains that it was made more difficult to meet colleagues as theses often run parallel to the normal work. Resultingly you are not joining a lot of meeting: which could have been the perfect way to meet your colleagues (online). To pass this obstacle, a lot of get-to-know-you meetings had been planned at the start of his thesis by Eurailscout. A short, informal coffee-break via Teams, which was very nice, Michiel can recommend it. Up next: not losing sight of the people you have just met in the seemingly endless contact book in MS Teams. What comforted him was to create his own contact book: who does what, for what can I ask them for help etc. etc. This helped him with consciously building up his own network and also maintaining it, with the few possibilities to actually meet people.
Another, rather obvious, challenge for Michiel was the thesis itself. As a (former) Mechanical Engineering student, Michiel put his energy in redesigning the mount for our rail profile measurement system (KLD/Orion 9+) on our UFM120. This mount requires a lot of stiffness, whilst offering flexibility, within practically no space. And oh, it must be user friendly too and be in accordance with European regulations. Quite a challenge! After various concepts we decided on one design. Michiel fully detailed this design, simulated all forces, and created all documentation for homologation. He also created installation animations, to visualize whether the measurement box would fit in the measurement frame.
What was exciting about writing his thesis at Eurailscout is that there are hardly any mechanical engineers at the company. Usually, Eurailscout outsources similar projects. On one hand it’s an extra challenge, there is no answer to the question: ‘how do you typically do that?’, but it also opens doors: ‘you may decide what you think is the best’. This opens for creativity and spar sessions.
After successfully defending his thesis, Michiel graduated with an 8,9/10! After well needed summer holiday Michiel started at Eurailscout as a Mechanical Engineering and now he is supporting various projects on the engineering side, one of which: executing his own thesis project! Coming winter, the KLD will be mounted with a fresh out of the box, new mount!