The traineeship exceeded my expectations

Vuk Jancic PDEng, alumnus

As a PPD student and trainee, you work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment. That’s a good preparation for the future, when you work as a Process Engineer. In this respect, the programme offers valuable experience.

Working as an engineer runs in the family, since my father and brother are both mechanical engineers. I studied at the University of Belgrade, at the Mechanical faculty. I opted for the Master’s programme in Process Engineering within that same department.

After my studies in Belgrade, I wanted to gain more knowledge, broaden my skills and taste the working experience somewhere abroad. At that time, it seemed impossible to find something like that. I checked out various courses throughout Europe, from Spain to Sweden. In the end, I shortlisted the PPD programme of SAI at Eindhoven University of Technology and a similar programme at Delft University of Technology. They have very similar programmes. I contacted them both and ultimately opted for Eindhoven, only because of their more personal ‘touch’ and efficiency.

During the first year, the programme focuses on practical courses given by experts from the industry. The emphasis is on team work and practical approach. The PPD students come from various disciplines: process, mechanical, biochemical and other disciplines in engineering. In such a team, everybody has their own approach and specialty. You can really learn a lot from your fellow students and the lecturers from industry.

During the second year, you carry out a project in a company. You have to put all things you’ve learned during the programme into practice. For a period of twelve months you‘ll be engaged in engineering work, but also project control, estimation, scheduling and so on. I did my traineeship at Essent. This is the largest energy company in the Netherlands. The project I was assigned to dealt with central heating. The problem was substantial heat loss from the piping. The cause was unknown; it could be bad maintenance, leakage, or a mistake in the readings. I had to define the problem, explore it and solve it. The solution was to combine operating and design parameters. Finally, this resulted in significant savings.

The traineeship exceeded my expectations. I learned a lot and my supervisors at the company really supported me in every way. They made my stay at Essent both successful and pleasant. I’m sure my traineeship prepared me for finding a job in technical engineering. Now I work as a Process engineer for Fluor. My current colleagues find it interesting to see how I adapted to Fluor in such a short period of time. I believe it’s thanks to my experiences in the PPD programme.

Besides all your technological knowledge, you have to develop your social skills. If you want to work as a technical engineer, you definitely need to be able to work in teams.”