Rien graduated as a Master of Science mechanical engineering at KU Leuven in 2018. In September he started working as a consultant for Verhaert Consulting, and was located at Verhaert as a system engineer. So far, he has worked on different projects, such as the design of a filter for coffee bean roasting emissions and the design of a pipe heater for plumbing applications.
Could you tell us what your job of system engineer involves?
“A system engineer creates a connection between the aspects that are present in the different stages of product development. We look at the physics behind a process, we evaluate how this can work for a specific design or concept, and then we test our ideas by breadboarding. The fun part is that the scientific fields in which we make products and think off innovative solutions can be very diverse. This means we are not only applying things we already know a lot about, but when necessary, we can learn in other disciplines, as well. One day you are tackling a fluidics problem, the next day you are measuring a pressure drop for the dimensioning of a fan.”
What is the biggest engineering challenge you faced so far?
“One of the biggest challenges I faced was during the development of a filter for coffee bean roasting emissions. During this process, we performed a lot of measurements, both in our lab and in a specialized lab called VITO. These measurements served to investigate both the efficiency of our filter, and how long the filter can maintain this efficiency. Especially the experiments performed at VITO were quite a big challenge. Testing the breadboard in advance, dismantling, rebuilding at VITO, performing all necessary tests and dismantling again was quite challenging. Since test time was limited, it had to be right the first time. Combining that with additional programming and testing of new sensors inside the appliance and other small tasks, it was an excessive task.”
What are the little things that makes your job at Verhaert Consulting and Verhaert pleasant?
“The main reason why I like what I do, is that every day can hold a new challenge. Being able to think about a solution and combining that with a test later to investigate if what you calculated/designed is correct, makes these tasks very pleasant. This combination is what makes working at Verhaert quite unique. It allows you to learn new stuff quickly by combining it with things you already know, which makes this job a lot of fun.”
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