Trainee in the spotlight: Denzil

Denzil Joy 500x500 def

'During the traineeship, you rotate between departments. This changes the context of my work and keeps me challenged.'

Denzil Joy

Trainee at the Mobility and Built Environment unit


'I specialise in Robotics and AI. After my master's, a PhD or job as a researcher was definitely a possibility. Still, I'm not 100 per cent sure I want to devote the rest of my life to that. That's why the traineeship at TNO is perfect for me, so I can experience different sides of the work and try out new topics.'

Denzil Joy started as a trainee at TNO in September 2023. 'Originally, I am from India and thus did not know the role of trainee at all. So before I applied, I contacted some current trainees via LinkedIn to hear more about their experience. That you can switch between all TNO departments as a trainee is one of the things that really appealed to me.'

Soft skills

Denzil has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and specialised with a master's degree in Robotics, specialising in AI at TU Delft. 'I didn't know the traineeship, but TNO did. TNO employees gave several lunch lectures during my studies. As a result, I knew that you get the chance to do pioneering research here. I'm researching how we apply AI in autonomous vehicles. Here you get the chance to work with the best experts on innovations that do not yet exist... On technologies that are so new that the application is sometimes not even clear, but which will eventually contribute to solving various societal problems'.


During the traineeship, you try out three different departments, each for eight months. Teams and departments vary in terms of their internationality, but English is the working language in most places. That is very desirable and convenient. Also

as a trainee, you get the unique opportunity to work on your soft skills and personal development as well. This will be useful for the rest of your career’.


Denzil seizes this opportunity to experience what is possible. 'Besides my role as a researcher, I now work partly in project management. Just to see what it exactly entails. I also shadowed a business developer for a day. I already notice: contact and interaction with customers suits me.'

As a trainee, you also bring a new perspective, from outside the department, experiences Denzil. 'You ask questions: how do they do it elsewhere and how can we make each other better? That too is my role as a trainee.' And his next step?

Specifically, the role of systems engineer appeals to Denzil. 'Who maps the whole system into which an innovation has to fit. System engineer is usually a role for someone who has been working there for some time. As a trainee, I am in a unique position to question things. So who knows, maybe I'll get the chance to try out that role too within the traineeship. In any case, I'm going to give it a try.'

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