In short, educational, exciting, and enlightening. This is how I would describe our visit to VDL. Although VDL has always kept a close collaboration with TU Delft and especially the PME department at 3mE, it was not until I visited VDL and received an all-around, yet far from ordinary presentation at their headquarters when I grasped the full scope of their activities in several industrial sections, their mission, and how they are shaping the future of the industry. After being warmly welcomed with coffee, cookies, and drinks, we saw a presentation that could only be described as a scene from a sci-fi movie.

Our visit on this enchanting spring day continued by visiting VDL ETG, which is one of the companies owned by VDL Groep, and specializes in manufacturing of high-tech tools and products and is a major manufacturing partner in the high-tech industry, working closely with companies such as ASML. Not too long ago VDL ETG also started working on products from the design stage.

At VDL ETG, we got a tour from the engineers currently working at VDL to see parts of their manufacturing facilities and getting familiar with some of their processes and how they tackle engineering challenges in their line of work. This was exceptionally informative as they also shared some of their personal experiences of working in this industry. What made this tour even more marvelous, was the fact that both of the inspiring engineers that kindly accompanied us on this tour were TU Delft alumni.

What fascinated me the most about VDL was how much they are investing in the future and the long-term advances of technology. Furthermore, the atmosphere and the work environment at VDL mesmerized me. Being overwhelmed by taking course after course at the university, we might sometimes feel a bit lost and yearning for the light when we feel as if the path to become a professional engineer has got opaque. However, these kinds of trips always shed a light upon that path and help us continue our journey mindfully.

– Sina Abouheidari