HomeThe added value of student teams

The added value of student teams

Several students of Mechanical Engineering are active in student teams. Michael van Kuik is a member of the robotics team. ‘It suits me well because I always wanted to be an inventor'. Alexander Nieuwland is technical manager of the rocket team. ‘The team offers a wonderful opportunity to be practically involved and make a societal contribution.’

Applying knowledge from training in practice

Michael van Kuik: ‘The reason for me to become active in the robotics team is mainly to get to know the practice and to practically apply my theoretical knowledge from the study programme. In this way, I can broaden and deepen my knowledge even further. And I also like the subject very much. It suits me well, because I always wanted to be an inventor. Within the team, we are now working on a robot arm that can be used on the conveyor belt,  for example to sort packages. Next year, we are aiming a bit higher and want to work on a robot that helps to clean beaches. A robot that collects plastic and cleans up cigarette butts. A nice challenge. The work we do in the team is really a labour of love not part of the programme. That does not mean that our activities are not appreciated. We get a lot of support from both universities. And yes, that is certainly stimulating. After my bachelor's, I will probably do a master's in Civil Engineering at the UT. And in five years? Then hopefully I'll still be involved with the robotics team.’    

I am really looking forward to going flat out

Alexander Nieuwland: 'I set up the rocket team about a year ago with five fellow students. Besides our shared interest in space travel, we also wanted to do something practical in addition to our study. Initially we focused on reusable rockets for space travel but soon we felt the need to do something that mattered more. We’d like to contribute to the solution of a societal problem. And we found that in the subject of space waste. This is becoming an ever-growing problem. Our ambition is to have a prototype rocket in 2037 that reaches at least 100 kilometres high, the limit where space begins. That is quite ambitious but fortunately we still have 15 years to go. The rocket we are currently working on is 2 metres high with a diameter of 15 centimetres. The one in 2037 will be bigger. In the coming years, we will investigate the possibilities of fuel, vertical landing and the clean-up mechanism. Think for example of a net or a harpoon.  We are very excited to go for it. For future students Mechanical Engineering, the team offers a wonderful opportunity to be practically involved and to make a contribution to society. Despite the fact that we are not yet an official  student team, we are already receiving a lot of support from both universities. That's really great. Next year I'm going to do the master Systems & Control at the UT. I hope to be involved with the rocket team for a long time to come, perhaps as an advisor later on.’