Baptism of fire for master's students in Drachten
News | March 6, 2020
The first students of the new Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Groningen experienced their baptism of fire in Drachten on Wednesday 4 March. At the location of high-tech company BD they got acquainted with Innovation Cluster dragons. That's where they start this fall with their graduation assignment.
A historic moment. If only because these are the first steps of the 'University of the North' in Drachten. Two programs will start after the summer. First the (graduation) year of the two-year master's degree in Mechanical Engineering with Smart Factories & Advanced Instrumentation. Then the first year of Process Design for Energy Systems and Materials for Mechanical Engineering. Ultimately, the university aims for sixty students for four master's tracks.
“This afternoon the students got to know our high-tech companies. Now they are taking the first step towards a great graduation assignment Smart Factories and Advanced Instruments'', says program manager Joost Krebbekx. Despite their preferences, the presentations have made some doubtful. For example through the story of Joost Zeilstra. He is mechanical development manager at BD and talked about the world of 'his' medical systems. The conversations with the R&D managers of the other companies who were present also did not make things any easier. Student Tijs summarized it succinctly: ,,Gee, I thought I had nothing to do with the medical sector, but this is super interesting!''.
Seeing is believing
The students were introduced to various issues within the companies. Questions were presented on the basis of 5 archetypes. The students can work with that. And of course, as expected, there was also a tour of BD's R&D center. ,,Because seeing is believing!'', says Krebbekx. “Students have been able to sharpen their thoughts here.” After a short walk to Whisper Power another group of students came face to face with three station assembly lines where different types of generators are made. “Whisper Power wants to take a step towards Industry 4.0. The great thing is that the students can make a nice contribution to this,” says Krebbekx.
In the coming two months, the students and the companies will further flesh out the first so-called design assignment. They are then expected on 31 August at the graduation supervisor of their chosen company.
About the master track
The Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering is part of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. The program offers Advanced Instrumentation and Smart Factories. This year, this will be expanded with Process Design for Energy Systems and Materials for Mechanical Engineering. After their master's degree, students are allowed to use the ir title. Smart Factories students follow their second year of study in the ICD Shared Facility Center in Drachten. There they receive lectures and do research. As a result, they design intelligent, cohesive and tailor-made production processes for the factory of the future. Krebbekx: ,,The intention is to develop into a fully-fledged program within five years, with the main motivation being to give bachelor students perspective on a career in the Northern Netherlands."