The story of Christian Trampuz
‘Radar is really my passion. You can't see it, you can't touch it… Yet it can help you observe and monitor the environment. That's what fascinates me so much.’
'As a project manager at TNO, I lead projects in the field of radar technology. Amongst other things, we develop radar sensors for drones. There is always a piece of theory, experiment and practice in our projects. It starts with calculations, prototyping, testing in the field, and sometimes trying something else. I work in the office, but also go along to field tests to make sure everything is right. If we run into something, I help thinking of possible solutions.
Prove it works
At TNO we don't just think up something, we prove it works. We do that for industry partners and for the Ministry of Defence, our main customer. I always work with external clients, and this makes the job of project manager at TNO a little different than at other organizations.
In this role, you are the link between two worlds: the technical world inside, and the clients outside. I have to understand what the techies are talking about. At the same time, I have to understand the client's demand, possibly advise them, and assess whether their requirements are realistic.
My work entails a bit of political science or psychology: I need to know what topic is potentially sensitive, and what is going on with the people in the team so I can act accordingly.
My background is hardcore technical. I come from Italy, and ended up in Delft during my PhD studies. Then I started in a company with a fellow student in - you guessed it - radar technology. After working there for twelve years, I joined TNO. The social aspect of working at TNO really appealed to me. I continued to learn the profession of project manager here. A big part of my job now is organising and coordinating: I monitor the planning, manage the budget, and make sure the researchers can do their work as well as possible.
Radar truly remains my passion. It started as a child with questions like: what does an antenna do, how can you communicate remotely? You don't see it, you can't touch it… Yet radar can help you discover and monitor the environment. That's what fascinates me so much.
Sophisticated and challenging
Radar is, in my opinion, one of the most advanced and challenging technologies. After all, it involves a whole chain. This requires all kinds of knowledge. About radiation, antennas, RF circuits, digital equipment, signal processing, electromagnetic propagation, but also mechanical and thermal aspects... As project manager, I get the chance to work with experts in not one, but all of these disciplines.'