Characteristics of a technological designer

dr.ir. Marcel Boosten PDEng, Alumnus and Industry partner

dr.ir. Marcel Boosten PDEng, Solution Architect Diagnostics, Philips Healthcare. ST Graduate 1996. Coach and supervisor of ST trainees on final projects.

He finished his technological designer program Software Technology in 1996 with his final project at a start-up. Marcel Boosten, Solution Architect Diagnostics at Philips Healthcare and a longstanding partner of Eindhoven’s designer program Software Technology, is nowadays a coach himself of the technological designers in training who carry out their final project at Philips Healthcare.

After finishing his technological designer program, Boosten went to Geneva to do a PhD on Design at CERN. ‘After finishing my PhD in Geneve I wanted to go back to the Netherlands. I contacted a few ex-colleague trainees of my designer program and asked them if they had tips for good employers in the Netherlands. Philips Healthcare immediately caught my attention.’ Once started at the business unit CT and later Inventional X-Ray, Boosten quickly growed into more important and leading functions at Philips Healthcare.

‘The big advantage of following a designer program is that directly at the start of your career you have an advance. You do not come directly from a technical program, but you have concrete experience with project based working within the industry. You do not begin at the bottom rung and therefore technological designers are extremely in demand at the moment. In this way we at Philips Healthcare are always searching for excellent design engineers and it is noticeably appreciated when an applicant has finished a designer program’, Boosten tells.

According to Boosten the PDEng degree not only shows the right characteristics of a design engineer, namely the motivation to broaden their knowledge, developing themselves, pro-activity, a self-steering attitude and the will to be successful. ‘You also know that these persons have already gone through a tough selection procedure. Good design engineers are still scarce on the job market. Graduated technological designers create more opportunities for themselves this way. ‘This is sometimes very noticeable too: at a meeting organised in the context of the high potential program at Philips Healthcare a few years ago, more than half of the attendees were graduated designers’, Boosten tells laughing.

Boosten: ‘In particular the self-steering character of the trainees is very important for the success of the design projects. The projects the trainees carry out are often follow-up projects with process or product enhancement as goal. These projects are part of a bigger program with often an innovative character. The trainees must be able to cover a lot of ground in a short time and delivering concrete deliverables, to deliver a contribution to the targets of the umbrella program. This is an important requirement to enable our organisation to further apply the delivered results after the project has ended. This is substantially different from the projects doctoral candidates carry out at Philips Healthcare. They crack difficult programs, whereas a technological designer in training designs something in the form of a prototype for instance. These two specialisations sometimes beautifully complement each other.’

‘Actually one could say that the designer programs deliver Philips Healthcare two important results; good product and process enhancements and furthermore outstanding design engineers who often eventually come to work for this organisation’.