in the workplace

“I want to tell students: seize the opportunity at TNO!”

5 September 2017 • 3 min reading time

TNO’s Stieltjesweg site in Delft will be throwing open its doors on Friday 13 October, specially for science and technology students. During this ‘Get To Know TNO’ event, you can watch all kinds of interactive demos, play serious games, and visit various TNO labs. Of course, you’ll also have the chance to chat with many of TNO’s staff. Such as Pim Muilwijk, who can tell you all about the Extreme Ultra Violet Beam Line 2 (EBL2), a truly unique research facility.

The EBL2 has been set up in a cleanroom in the cellar of the TNO building. Pim Muilwijk and his colleagues have spent about two and a half years working on the design, construction, testing and validation of this facility. Their work on EBL2 is almost done. During ‘Get To Know TNO’ on Friday 13 October, Pim will be giving students a personal tour. Pim is a Junior Research Scientist. He has been a full-time member of the research staff at TNO’s Nano Instrumentation department since March 2013.

Designing facilities

EBL2 is his fifth project. EBL2 stands for Extreme Ultra Violet Beam Line 2. “In 2013, I started experimenting with, testing and validating a measuring device, purely on a contract basis. After that, I helped others dream up novel measuring equipment and was then asked to assist with its construction. With the EBL2, I got involved right at the start. I designed the facility, then built the equipment. We place materials in a vacuum, then expose them to Extreme Ultra Violet light. Next, we examine the material to see whether it has remained intact, if it has become polluted, or if its optical properties have changed. In this way, we are able to advise companies on the use of materials, for example. I’m really proud of EBL2 because it’s a very big project, and because a wide range of miscellaneous knowledge was needed to make it a reality.”

Doing an internship at TNO

While studying for a Master’s in Nanotechnology at the University of Twente, Pim worked as an intern at TNO in Delft. “That suited me right down to the ground. After I left, I sent off an open application and kept an eye on TNO’s website, for suitable job vacancies. Soon afterwards, as luck would have it, a job was advertised that was right up my street. I got the job.”

“Personally, I think TNO’s mission is really fantastic – trying to exert as much positive influence as possible on society”


“I feel like a real engineer, and I really love designing and building specialist equipment. I also enjoy programming. The engineers I work with teasingly call this ‘playing the piano’. Look, eighty percent of my time is spent on direct work, such as designing a facility, working on it, making repairs or doing programming work. The other twenty percent of my time is devoted to ‘indirect’ work. This is related to my other roles within the department, as safety coordinator and quality coordinator.”

Influencing society

“Personally, I think TNO’s mission is really fantastic – trying to exert as much positive influence as possible on society. The biggest challenge is that when you do something you want it to be perfect. This is a ‘problem’ for many of us here at TNO. But we all have to keep to the budgets allocated to given projects, both in terms of money and time. Personally, I’m the pragmatic type. I’d rather create something that works well than fail to produce something that might have been perfect if I had only had more money or time at my disposal.” 

“I hope that ‘Get To Know TNO’ will inspire students to come and work at TNO”

Taking the initiative yourself

“I would like to tell students – our future new colleagues – to seize the opportunity! Try out as many different things at TNO as possible. And don’t be afraid to do something that is not directly in line with your course of study. Aside from giving you the chance to do some really interesting work, TNO places great emphasis on your personal development. I really hope that ‘Get To Know TNO’ will inspire students to come and work at TNO.”

Get To Know TNO

‘Get To Know TNO’, which will be held in Delft on Friday 13 October, is primarily intended for university-level science and technology students. Especially those in one of the following fields of study: Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Mathematics, Econometrics, Mechanical Engineering, or Aerospace Engineering. Sign up!



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