“TNO is unparalleled”

Project manager and consultant Layla Lebesque works in synchromodal transport and believes in serious gaming as a great way to experience how synchromodality works. This is expertise she has built up at TNO.

“It’s not that I suddenly thought when I was studying Econometrics and Operational Research: hey, synchromodal transport, that’s where it’s at. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of it. The fact that it’s now a specialism of mine is all down to my traineeship at TNO. My first workplace assignment was in mobility and logistics, and there I was introduced to synchromodal planning. An interesting topic, to be sure. And socially relevant. Above all, though, what really attracted me to the subject was the way the team there approached it: more consultancy-minded than research-driven. After my traineeship, I continued there as project manager and consultant. And I’ve been doing that for two years now.”

Synchromodal planning

“In my job, I sit down with government and business representatives to explore how this new form of logistical planning – synchromodality – can help Dutch business, the transport sector and individual companies. Synchromodal planner gives you as a transport planner the resources and freedom you need to make the best possible choices about the mode you use for a particular shipment, the route it takes and its departure and arrival times. And to change any of them as and when necessary. This flexibility results in lower costs and more reliable deliveries, as well as reducing environmental impact.”

Serious gaming

“People often think that working at TNO means that you’re up to ears in one project all the time. But that’s not the case. Depending upon your expertise, you’re usually involved with several projects at once. And often playing different roles. My specialisms are synchromodal transport and serious gaming as a means to show potential users how synchromodality works. TNO gives me room to play my role in the way I want. For example, I hold workshops to introduce companies to synchromodal transport through a game we’ve developed. It’s great to see how this makes logistical planners aware of synchromodality and its benefits. And it’s absolutely wonderful when they then go on to adopt it for real.”

Next step

“At TNO, you’re given all the freedom you need to develop yourself and to discover where you’re talents and passions lie. When a colleague was away on maternity leave, I spent six months as acting team leader. A great challenge, and one I very much took to. Eventually, I’d like to move into a management role or a position as senior project manager. For the time being, I’m really enjoying myself at TNO. That’s because of the socially relevant subjects, the diversity and the many opportunities. In that respect, TNO is unparalleled.”

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