Final project IE
On this page you find more information about the final project of Industrial Engineering. Three students tell about their experiences working on the final project.
My Bachelor End Project (BEP) was part of the Operations, Planning, Accounting and Control research group. I executed my project in collaboration with the NS, the Dutch railway company. More specifically, my BEP took place at the NS Technical Department, where they focus on maintaining the trains. Maintaining a train involves many things such as cleaning, repairing or changing vessels. This all happens at a service location. Every day the employees in the Technical Department puzzle to get the right train, to the right service location at the right time, without causing any delays. In order to solve this difficult puzzle many decisions are made, both long and short term. To support this decision making process, I had to determine all the questions that must be answered regarding this puzzle. The NS did not imply that they would implement my solutions, but I hope they will take a look at my report when important decisions are made.
What I enjoyed most about my BEP is to experience how it feels to work in a business. I learned that it is nothing to be scared of, but that it is great when you find a job that fits you. Furthermore my co-workers were very friendly and many of them were Industrial Engineering Alumni. Working at the same department as them, showed me some possible career paths that I can follow. Executing my BEP at a company was a very rewarding experience, because you feel that you are contributing to improve the business. I experienced that a big company such as the NS, with multiple entities, has a very complex structure. Due to this complexity people really depend on each other. This dependency causes issues in certain parts of the company. I realized that I used my Industrial Engineering background to identify these issues and to think about improvements. Overall my BEP was a very instructive and fun experience, which made me think about my future career possibilities.
During my BEP I focused on companies with an innovating nature. This was a perfect fit with the research group I was part of Innovation, Technology, Entrepreneurship and Marketing (ITEM). The goal of my BEP was to create a service product for innovating companies. The service product should provide a solution for the financial, fiscal, legal and strategic area. Besides the design of the service product, I also focused on the implementation.
I performed my BEP at the Bridge Consulting Group in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. I experienced here that business people are generally busy . This makes it difficult to schedule meetings, but it also teaches you to be persuasive. Furthermore my time at the Bridge Consulting Group taught me a different working method. In a very short period of time I had to create a product, so this could be tested and improved in the remaining time. This meant that the demand in the beginning was high, but it also allowed me to focus more on improving the end result. The report provides insights to the Bridge Consulting Group about the market they want to operate in and helps them to launch their new service product.
Working at a company creates an extra challenge for the project and provides insights for your future career. I enjoyed conducting interviews at other companies for my project. Furthermore, the BEP also taught me to be proactive, independent and to work scientifically. It was the first time that I worked independently on a project for so long. It is sometimes difficult to find motivation, but in the end it is very rewarding!
I would advise everyone to perform your BEP in cooperation with a company. This provides an extra dimension, because you have to keep the companies’ goal in mind. Lastly, your BEP is the ideal moment to choose a topic that you might find interesting, instead of choosing something you already know you like. It might surprise you!
When we had to choose a research group, I chose to perform my BEP with the research group OPAC. The assignment that I did at Logitech was a good match with the research activities of the OPAC group. I spent 2 or 3 days a week at the company to execute my research. On those days I also joined meetings and workshops, which was both instructive and fun. Joining activities outside of my project really showed me what the company is like and provided me an opportunity to get to know the people.
During my BEP I created a model that allocates a certain amount of products to a customer . The model consists of many variables, that I determined by interviewing employees. The end result of the project was very rewarding, as the model that I created saves time and generates a higher profit! During my BEP I could finally apply the theories that I learned during my bachelor in practice. I very much enjoyed combining mathematics, management skills and logistics, to create the final product. This project also taught me to take decisions myself and to trust on the knowledge that I possess. Furthermore I learned that communication is key, for a successful project. It occurred a couple of times that I missed important information, because I did not ask further. When this happened I had to start again from the beginning. The whole experience definitely helped me to choose the Master that is right for me.
My BEP was a great and insightful experience. I got the opportunity to see what happens after you graduate and start working at a company. Besides that I was also able to make a contribution myself, because Logitech is going to implement my model. For me that makes my BEP an unforgettable adventure.