Experiences of an alumnus
A deliberate choice for Civil Engineering at Twente
After secondary school, Nienke Schuurman specifically chose to do Civil Engineering at the University of Twente. She completed her Master's in Civil Engineering, specializing in water management, and had the chance to work at Twynstra Gudde, a leading Dutch engineering agency, as a consultant. She took this opportunity with both hands.
What exactly do you do at Twynstra Gudde?
'Within the water sector I am constantly placed in different roles in various water safety projects, like the 'Ruimte voor de Rivier' (Room for the River) project. Sometimes I am the project manager, making sure we deliver the right quality within the agreed time frame and budget. In other projects I am more of a strategic environment manager, which means I have to make sure that the stakeholders are properly involved in the project, so that they can help us think and decide on the best solution direction.'
Do you use a lot of what you studied at work?
"Many elements from my studies now come up again at work. The knowledge I gained in project control and risk management has proven very useful. But I also have solid technical knowledge, which enables me to discuss everything with clients, contractors and specialists."
How did you originally choose this degree?
"I deliberately chose Civil Engineering at Twente because I enjoy organization. But I also wanted something that offered practical content during my studies. I have always been intrigued by the problems surrounding high water, partly because of the stories I heard at home. My family experienced the flood disaster in 1953 in the Netherlands, so I also enjoy being able to use my brain to help solve that problem."