Nicky Jonkers

August 15th 2016 till December 16th 2016

I wanted to do an internship somewhere in Europe, not too far away but still an experience abroad. Because of my interest in both material science and control engineering, I wanted to have a subject in the field of Additive Manufacturing in which both subjects play an important role. Patrick immediately had a suggestion of a good university in Belgium, KU Leuven. Belgium might not be the first country you think of when going abroad. The prospect of an interesting subject at this well-known university, in a city where it looks like 50% of the inhabitants are students, made me enthusiastic for this internship.

My task was to redesign a set-up which was designed at the Chemical Engineering department to do experiments on powder flowability in Selective Laser Sintering. One thing I learned already in the first weeks is that finding components for a new design and having contact with companies takes a lot of time and can make you feel frustrated. Fortunately, I had the possibility to do some additional experiments on polymer powder characterization in the very good laboratory of this department to have a lot of variation during my days. 

Besides working on my internship I made a lot of fun with the PhD students of the department and with the Belgian students of my student residence. In Leuven, there are a lot of parties every day of the week, so there are always fun things to do. I also went a weekend to Amsterdam with two of my colleagues to show them something of my own country. Because I had such a great time during my official internship period (until the end of November) I decided to stay a couple of weeks longer to finish some work and to stay a little bit longer in this nice city.