Student Speaks: Thomas Kieft

Student Thomas Kieft

Thanks to his well-considered study choices, Thomas will soon have disciplines at all levels. From secondary school, he entered the MBO mechatronics course. Halfway through the course, he followed a route to continue at hbo. He completed this course with a graduation internship at Perron038 for Hollander Techniek and got a part-time job as a software engineer. He is also studying for a master’s degree in Robotics Systems Engineering. There is no lack of ambition and perseverance.

From mbo, to hbo to master

“Pragmatic learning and working suits me.” says Thomas. He justifies the choices within his study career by his broad interests. “At first, I thought about a creative study, but in the end it became mechatronics. A choice I am still happy with every day. Several disciplines come together within this study; such as electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. During my university studies, I took the robotics and vision minor. During this minor, I decided I wanted to go on for my master’s”.

Simulation of stone strip application

To score a graduation internship, Thomas threw balls at several companies. He says: “I deliberately looked in Twente and the eastern Netherlands, I am very enthusiastic about the technical companies here in the region. In lockdown period, it was quite challenging to get in touch with companies. Fortunately, Hollander Techniek responded quickly with a very cool assignment. On behalf of a customer, I developed a simulation of a stone strip application machine. This simulation allows us to simulate cycle times very accurately. As a result, it gives the customer a lot of insight about the machine before it is actually realised.” He graduated with flying colours and a fat 9. Hollander Techniek then offered him the opportunity to continue working part-time, alongside his master studies.

Engineering in a world with robots

After the master’s, Thomas hopes to advance to become a system architect in industrial automation. “I will learn how to translate a customer’s requirements and wishes into a system with subsystems. In which tasks from different disciplines come together and function.” says Thomas, “You need to have a lot and broad technical knowledge of that and I learn to apply that during the master’s programme. The combination with the social side of bringing disciplines together really appeals to me.” He says his side job at Hollander Techniek is a unique and good addition to help him achieve his ambitions.

A touch of stubbornness …

… is not so crazy, according to Thomas. In the first year of his hbo, he was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, for which he received intensive treatment. “With regularity, my lecturers told me to take it easy. But I still managed to get my hbo degree within four years. I am immensely proud of that. That piece of stubbornness got me where I am today.” said said Thomas. After his master’s, he hopes to work at a “cool technical company” in Twente. “There are so many wonderful companies in the region and new ones are still coming up. I really don’t need to leave Twente and my hometown Hengelo for that.”

He has already got to know some of these companies during his working days at Perron038. He continues: “During my graduation, I worked at Perron038 with regularity. During my internship at IMS, I already knew about its existence. Projects I heard about then, such as the PRISMA project, gave me the results during events at Perron038 last year. That was great: it is very important as an engineer to see what others are doing and get inspiration and knowledge from this. Perron038 encourages and facilitates this. You get in quicker here than at a company itself. I therefore advise students to make good use of it!”

Would you also like to work at Perron038? Then be sure to check out the vacancies at partner companies such as Hollander Techniek. Or send an e-mail to and we will put you in touch with our great partner companies!


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