“Making cool stuff for a better world”

The TNO Traineeship is a great chance to discover where your professional heart really lies. Certainly for Renee Louman, a graduate in Aerospace Engineering who did not necessarily want to build rockets and planes.

“After the selection day, I knew for sure: the TNO Traineeship really was for me. I’d just finished studying Aerospace Engineering at university and still had no clear idea what I wanted to do with my degree, or even if I wanted to stay in that field. It’s a broad course – you do much more than just build rockets and planes. That became so clear to me when I was first introduced to TNO and the huge range of projects someone with my background could play a useful part in.”

Opportunities everywhere

“I remember thinking during the selection day, ‘What a nice group of people!’. And they are – we really do get on. What TNO trainees have in common is that they’re ambitious and they see opportunities everywhere. Those are characteristics which can take you a long way, but sometimes they can bog you down as well. When that happens, it’s often your fellow trainees who pull you out of the mire. We tend to encounter the same things during our traineeships, so we learn from each other’s experiences. One thing I really had to become accustomed to at the beginning was having so much influence over the shape of my own traineeship, but I’m used to that now. When you’re not spending time on research, as a trainee you take on other work you’re interested in. That makes so much possible!”

Top day

“I’ve now completed the first two tracks of my traineeship. And I’ve learnt a lot, especially in the Optics Department. One of things I was working on there was a probe to measure people’s blood sugar levels without having to prick their fingers. Now I’m project manager in a team focusing on logistics and sustainable transport. For me, a top day is one that ends with the feeling that we’ve taken a step forward in our research. As project manager, you’ve played an important part in that.”

Project manager or researcher?

“I would like to take the next few months to find out if project management suits me, or if I'd prefer to return to the lab in the long run. What I do know already, for sure, is that in the future I want to work in a place where everyone’s chasing the same goal together: making cool stuff for a better world. And that place could well be TNO.”

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