From medicine to mechanical engineering: when you apply for a study and you are not selected to participate, you have to choose a different path. This applies to third-year student Benthe Meijer. At an open day at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, she
became interested in technology, especially robotics. “The choice was quickly made, I was going to study mechanical engineering. Solution-oriented learning and working is what appealed to Benthe to enroll in this study. Working together on challenging projects and finding solutions.” said Benthe. The fact that she can carry out her assignment for AWL-Techniek at Perron038 was the icing on the cake.
The power of an open attitude
“Many of my fellow students have always been involved in technology. That was not the case for me. I didn’t do any technology jobs or tinkering in the shed like them. I actually planned to study medicine, something totally different than mechanical engineering.
Ultimately, my interests in mathematics and a teacher led me to where I am now.”
Is this an disadvantage compared to her classmates? According to Benthe, this is not the case. This is due to the fact that in the robotics field new technology is discussed every day. “In my opinion the most important aspects are interest, an open attitude and solution-
oriented thinking. You learn a lot by researching, asking questions and, above all, doing it.
As I don’t have all the foreknowledge, I can dare to think out of the box and sometimes I come up with ideas that others have not yet thought of.”
The use of cobots in the assembly process
On behalf of AWL, Benthe is investigating how cobots can be utilised in the assembly process of products. “I am continuing to work on the solution that a previous student already started. I am writing a program (software) which is linked to the mechanical solution. Based
on different variables, the cobot can then perform various assembly operations.”
“What I love about this internship is that I get the freedom to experiment and explore. Perron038 helps enormously with this. The technology that is available here and the independent working environment is great. The fact that I can try things out myself takes
away the fear of making mistakes.”
Forget about the prejudices
Benthe is one of the few female students in her class, but that has not stopped her from being an ambitious student any way. She continues: “It’s your own insecurity to think ‘I don’t get it’ or ‘I don’t know how to do this’. By simply doing it, you will discover that technology is not only a male thing. Technology is innovative, challenging and cool, young people often don’t realise what technology is all about. I think it’s super cool!”
There is no doubt that Benthe’s future career will be in technology. “Let’s wait and see where I end up. I might want to do my graduation internship in the navy. Furthermore, I would like to learn about the business side of projects and processes that I am currently working on. By gaining broad experience, I will discover my qualities and how I will put them to use.”