High Tech Safari TFV Francken

News | 25 January 2023

On 20 January 2023, Innovation Cluster Drachten hosted a High Tech Safari. Around 80 students from study association TFV Francken were warmly welcomed in Drachten. 

Accompanied by their professor of Engineering Physics and teaching assistant connected to Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, they visited the ICD companies Philips, NTS Norma, BD and SRON. They also attended a lecture on materials science, which focused on topics such as metals, polymers and injection moulding. The topic fitted well with their minor in materials science. The representatives of companies present gave presentations that went a bit more into practical aspects. The students were then given a tour of how the materials are processed; milling, injection moulding, decorating (plastics are also painted and printed)

It was a successful visit; varied questions were asked and during brainstorming the students came up with good solutions to specific technical problems.

A few comments from students:

Before I went on this field trip, I had no idea who or what ICD was and how big the companies are. I found it very interesting to see and hear how these high-tech companies operate and what they are working on. Ik vond het erg interessant om te zien en te horen hoe deze hightechbedrijven te werk gaan en waar ze mee bezig zijn. Following on from the Materials Science course we completed, I found it very fascinating to hear how the theory we had learnt is put into practice and researched at these companies.

Christian Berg

I was surprised at how much engineering is behind a shaver. At first, I expected it to consist of just a few simple parts, but I was wrong. As the guide pointed out during the tour of the Philips workshop, the factory was far too big to go through in just under an hour. It was fun to see self-propelled robots moving things around the workspace. 

The tour at NTS was very interesting. It seemed more in line with the subject we studied for. We were told about the different materials and how they give them very precise specific shapes.

Simon Kuypers

The visit to ICD was a perfect conclusion and add-on to the subject of materials science. We got explanations about all the activities of ICD, tours of different departments and lectures about the research being done. It was special to see how a company so far away from the Randstad area can have so much impact on innovations in the field of materials science.

Charlotte Broekmeulen

Note from Professor Vaclav Ocelik

Thank you for organizing the Safari. As course coordinator I did not have to spend much time preparing for this day.
All the reflections from students were very positive. Speakers were very competent, flexible in their time management and handling student's questions well. Deviding the students into groups with two main topics was an excellent idea. We should repeat this in future, but then we should probably reserve an entire day, due to lack of time to realize the whole program.

Img 0960
SKILL Safari TFV Francken
Img 0964

Photos were taken by Martijn van Zutphen and Sytze de Graaf.