Redmer de Haan, Master student in Mechanical Engineering at university of Twente from the Netherlands, was doing his internship at Linz Center of Mechatronics GmbH (LCM) as a part of the Erasmus+ Program between 28.11.2016 to 13.3.2017 in Linz. The goal of the internship was to improve the control algorithm of an active damping demonstrator. In an interview Redmer talks about the internship what he liked and disliked.

Organisation

During the internship to what extent was a contact person available? Were these presented at the beginning?

My first day at the LCM I was introduced to my supervisor, with whom I shared an office. When something was unclear I could always quickly ask it.

How well were the tasks and important processes explained at the outset?

The main goal of the internship was explained, but how I wanted to achieve it was entirely up to me. It was clear for me what the final result had to be, and when there was a ‘deadline’ in between it was communicated well ahead.

 Work Tasks

Did you feel you could use your previous knowledge in the internship?

Yes, I could apply previously obtained knowledge in my studies within the assignment.

Did the tasks meet your expectations?
Yes.

What were the surprises during the internship?

No real surprises.

 What did you particularly like during your internship?

After developing a control algorithm and doing a lot of simulations, I could implement the algorithm on the real hardware. This is a step I usually cannot take during my studies, since it mostly stays a theoretical design based on simulations. This was something entirely new, which I learned a lot from.

What tasks would you have more time in the internship?

There was enough time.

 Are there topics that would be exciting for you? Which?

Implementing the algorithm on the hardware and writing new x2c blocks in C-code were topics I had no previous experience with.

Working climate

How was the mode of communication in operation?

The communication was fine. Formal stuff over email, lunch plans over skype or in person.

 How good was the integration into the existing team in the LCM?

The integration was good. The team meetings were in English for me so I could participate.

Only during lunch for example, or during coffee breaks when there a lot of people, the spoken language is mostly german. This makes it difficult to participate.

Do you feel like a young man in the LCM?

Yes, I was treated not differently than a full employee.

Does the LCM offer young employees exciting prospects?

Yes, there is a lot to learn

Is the work environment creativity-enhancing? How well does cooperation between old and young work?

It functions good. Young persons are not treated less in any way.

 What do young interns (in addition) need in order to feel comfortable in the LCM and be successful? How would you describe the operating climate in the LCM?
It is a nice and informal working environment, where you are free to work how you want, as long as you deliver.

Generell

Do you know the LCM homepage?

Yes.

What do you think of it spontaneously?

Looks like a high tech company with interesting projects.

What do you answer a friend, if the would like to know …….. what the employees in the LCM actually do?

They develop innovative and cool stuff.

 ….. how is it working in the LCM?

It is a nice and informal working environment, where you are free to work how you want, as long as you deliver.

 ….. what you learned in the internship?

I learned to focus full-time on a single project, where I had to start on a topic I did not know a lot about. During the internship I learned a lot regarding this topic.

….. what would you change in the LCM?

Nothing in particular.

….. to what extent the LCM is concerned with the important future issues of our time
The presentations during for example the LCM fair show how the LCM is involved in these topics.

 Redmer, thank you very much for the interview.

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